First Watch Café Soft Opening Benefits GHCCM

First Watch, a daytime café, has opened its largest North Carolina location in Hickory. The restaurant is located at 1510 8th St Dr SE (intersection of Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard and Highway 70). First Watch hosted a ‘Soft Opening’ June 16 and 17 – before officially opening to the public on June 19. The soft opening provided an opportunity for employees to train in the café’s new dining environment while collecting donations in support of Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry – a local non-profit organization offering Hope, Help & Healing for All in most need. 

Management from First Watch were on site and explained that the restaurant “is a health-minded café chain that offers dine-in, take-out and delivery options for breakfast and brunch from 7 am – 2:30 pm Sunday through Saturday. The company values “giving back” to the community and selected GHCCM as the featured charity – helping the ministry to raise $8,769 over the two-day event.” 

Over 750 patrons were served breakfast and brunch during the soft opening. In lieu of paying for their meal, guests were given the opportunity to donate to GHCCM.  The donated funds will be used to help individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or those who are in poverty.  Available services at GHCCM include a full-service Medical Clinic offering Primary and Specialty care; an onsite Dental Clinic, providing preventative care and dental procedures such as extractions and fillings; an Eye Clinic; a Pharmacy with free or low-cost medications; and Crisis Assistance offering use of showers, laundry facilities, mail service for the homeless, a clothing closet, and financial support to prevent eviction and to maintain utilities.

The soft opening was a collaborative effort between Good Morning Carolinas First Watch, Andrew Paschal, Operating Partner, and GHCCM. Mr. Paschal commented on the success of the soft opening, “We are happy to be adding a new restaurant in Hickory.  Our goal is to support the communities where we are located.  Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry is a perfect partner for us.  We are happy they were successful in the fundraising efforts for the two days.”

Molly Sain, Director of GHCCM stated, “We are both honored and thrilled that First Watch chose GHCCM as their featured non-profit.  The generosity of First Watch and the many individual donors will make a huge impact on those we serve. Thank you to those who support GHCCM’s effort to provide free healthcare, prescriptions and crisis services to those in need.  

GHCCM relies on grants and financial contributions to continue offering support to our most vulnerable population. It is the goal of GHCCM to offer a pathway to stability for those in crisis. For hours of operation, ministry offerings, or to donate, please visit our website at