“Behind the Donations”: Meet Mark Cleveland

The pandemic has left many of our clients struggling to meet their most basic needs. Through our partnerships, we have been leveraging as many resources as possible to provide basic items such as food, diapers, cleaning supplies, and more. Many members of our community have recognized these increased needs and have stepped up to make their unique contributions, like Mark Cleveland of Avanti Café. When the pandemic hit, he decided to bake loaves of bread for folks in need and was referred to Human Options by a friend. We had the chance to connect with Mark, to learn and share about his support to Human Options.


Human Options: Q: Can you please share a little about yourself and your company? And where does the inspiration behind these amazing breads and flavors come from?

Mark: About a year or so ago my friend and Avanti restaurant co-owner gave me some sourdough starter from a friend in Portland who had nurtured it for over 10 years. I did some research and named her Lilian Tingle, and my journey into sourdough began.  As for the flavors, I’m a fearless experimental cook & love to make magic in the kitchen.  


Human Options: Q: How did you learn about Human Options and the Newport Mesa Family Resource Center?

Mark: When Covid-19 hit, I decided that by buying flour in bulk from local restaurants and baking wee loaves of bread for folks in need, I could support our community and local business.  I talked with friends in my activist community and was given your contact info from Allison Wright.  


Human Options: Q:  What motivates you to stay involved with our organization?

Mark: I’m honored to contribute some flavor love to families in need and so I donate to a group that supports homeless Veterans & another that provides meals on wheels to vulnerable seniors in their 90’s.  


Human Options: Q:In your eyes, what would the world look like if domestic violence/ Intimate Partner Violence no longer existed?

Mark: As we all are painfully aware, domestic & intimate partner violence is pandemic all over the globe & in the full spectrum of human society. When our collective consciousness becomes raised where we cooperate in love, respect and peaceful resolution, we will reach a new milestone in our evolution as spiritual beings.  

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