Customers who come to the Tin Box Cafe for lunch will be getting more than a meal.
They will be getting a little bit of nourishment for the soul.
"We include a little handwritten note in each boxed lunch," said Matt Yerkes, who opened the restaurant inside the front entrance of Cultivate, the business incubator he operates at 3989 Broadway in Grove City's Town Center.
"Each one is a little note of encouragement, kind of like the ones your mom might have put in your lunch box," Yerkes said.
The Tin Box Cafe offers boxed lunches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and express items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
It opened April 12, occupying space that formally housed Orchardfields and Arbor Cafe.
"We wanted to make this the main entrance to the building," Yerkes said. "Food has always been a big part of what we do at Cultivate."
The owners and employees of many of the 17 businesses housed at Cultivate have become regular Tin Box Cafe customers, he said.
"It's a place where you can come in and get a good lunch served quickly and simply," Yerkes said. "We make our main menu items ourselves, in house."
The choice of boxed lunches include chicken salad with grapes, Italian sub, Mediterranean hummus and a Caprese wrap.
"We have both healthier, vegetarian items and nonvegetarian," Yerkes said.
A chocolate-dipped brownie and choice of an apple, bag of kettle chips or bottled water are included in each boxed lunch. The cost is $8.49. A deluxe box costs $9.99 and includes all three sides and a bottle of water.
Potato salad, a fruit cup or a black bean and corn salad are available as premium side dishes for an extra cost either included with a box or as a individual item.
Snack plates include fruit and cheese, hummus and vegetable, antipasto and peanut butter and fruit.
"People really seem to go for the hummus and veggies," Yerkes said.
The Tin Box Cafe is designed to be convenient for people who work in the Town Center or who may be doing business or shopping in the district and looking for a quick and easy lunch option, he said.
Part of the inspiration for the cafe's concept, Yerkes said, was his memories of the superhero-themed lunch boxes he took to school as a child.
"You think back, those old lunch boxes you used to have, and it gives a nostalgic feeling," he said.
Several lunch boxes are on display in the cafe's front window. Although they are not vintage -- many are recently made replicas -- they feature classic characters from movies and television.
"It's fun to watch kids walk by our store front and spot the lunch boxes," Yerkes said. "They stop and take a long look at them."
The cafe doesn't accept cash as payment.
"We're cashless. It's something we're trying out," Yerkes said. "We do accept credit, debit, Apple and Android payments. There are more and more people who don't carry cash with them."
There is one thing offered at the Tin Box Cafe that requires no payment of any kind.
Complimentary coffee is offered every day, Yerkes said.
"Sometimes you might need a cup of coffee for a little pick-me-up, and you're welcome to stop in and have a coffee on us," he said.
Lunch orders can be placed online or in person. The cafe also offers catering for meetings and events, with advance notice needed for more than six boxes.
For more information, visit www.tinboxcafe.com.