Valerie Erwin is a longtime Philadelphia chef who, for 12 years, owned the critically acclaimed Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. She specializes in the food of the Low Country—the coast of South Carolina and Georgia—where her grandparents were born. During its tenure, Geechee Girl was featured in every major Philadelphia publication including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Magazine.
Valerie is particularly interested in the intersection of food and culture. She serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance—the country’s premier institution for the study of food and culture. She serves also on the board of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, a service and advocacy organization that serves Philadelphia’s homeless families.
Since her restaurant closed in 2014, Valerie has spent her time working on food related projects with cultural institutions such as the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jazz Project, and working with food justice organizations in Philadelphia.
Valerie is excited to bring her talents, love of food, and passion for community to the EAT Café.
Margie Snyder Felton
Chef de Cuisine
Margie Snyder Felton is a creative and professional chef with over 20 years experience. Margie has experience in a variety of cuisines with a focus on Indian and Mexican food. She is passionate about cooking, ingredients, developing menus, and feeding people.
Margie is thrilled to join the team at the EAT Café to help ensure nutritious and delicious meals are served to all of our diners.
Community Engagement and Communications Coordinator
Vivienne works to plan events, manager the social media, and connect with the community around the EAT Cafe. Her role is to ensure that the Cafe is being responsive to the needs and wants of our diners and the community.
Before joining the EAT Cafe team, Vivienne was a coach at Achieving Independence Center assisting the youth of Philadelphia in reaching their goals of Independence and Excellence. Vivienne has also been fortunate to have a very long and amazing relationship with Covenant House PA (CHPA); a homeless shelter for youth ages 17-21. Vivienne credits CHPA with helping her to fall in love with philanthropy, and imbuing her with the belief that “anyone can help to heal the world, simply by giving it their love, time, and energy.”
Vivienne is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts in the fields of English and Fine Arts.
Center for Hunger-free Communities Deputy Director
Victoria Egan is the Deputy Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. She oversees the business administration and operations of all the Center’s work, including the EAT Café. Victoria provides support for café partnership development, fundraising, financial management, human resources and other administration. She has worked for the Center since 2010, and helped to steward the EAT Café from idea to reality. She is excited for the EAT Café to open its doors, bring community together for healthy meals and fellowship, and ultimately expand its scope to meet the community’s vision and needs.