"We look for three things. Our priorities are children, people in need and environmental concerns," said Spence, who advocates an increased recycling effort in Charleston. She cuts down on waste in the restaurant, using biodegradable corn-based utensils.
The restaurant is open for lunch only, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $8, or whatever they can afford to pay, customers get a plateful of Sadorra's creations. Thai and spicy garlic satays are always on the menu, along with couscous, both grain and green salads, fish, meatballs and pork or beef dishes.
Sadorra rounds out the rest of the menu with whatever strikes his fancy. Last week, it was roasted red onion and potato frittata and flank steak sandwiches with horseradish and caramelized onions.
"He changes it up. If we run out of something, he's able to create something else," Spence said.
They're considering rotating a built-to-order taco and burrito line like Cilantro's, or maybe a similar concept for hamburgers, into the menu. Spence posts a general menu on the Practically Delish Facebook site.
Most customers pay $8, but some pay more. Others pay less. "If all they have is $3, we still give them a full plate of food," Sadorra said.
Spence, 31, and Sadorra, 39, also offer catering services, and will allow nonprofit groups to use the restaurant free in the evenings for meetings or gatherings. The catering business is under the nonprofit umbrella and benefits the same charities.
Because of Chandler Elementary School's year-round schedule, Spence has three-week breaks between sessions when she can work at Delish. On school days, she teaches special education students during day, then goes to her Birth to Three program job.
It distresses Spence to hear cynics question whether Delish's nonprofit moniker is a marketing tool. She took out loans to buy the place, and hasn't paid herself a salary. She's keeping her two day jobs.
"Since this is a new concept here in Charleston, I understand that people might have a hard time understanding what we are doing," she said. "Sometimes with new ideas, people tend to be skeptical about the motive behind the movement. Anytime you do something outside of the box and people's comfort zone, some individuals try to put you down and find fault before you can even get started."
"I've always talked about change and making things better. We do that here," she said. "Eat here and you're helping to feed someone else, or buy supplies like diapers for them. It makes giving easy.
"I truly believe in this movement and want it to be successful so that the pilot program is up and running and making a difference in our community, not just here in Charleston, but in communities across the nation."
Practically Delish, 110 McFarland St., is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 304-343-2121.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.