Photograph courtesy Callie Cinque
An unlikely pop-up called Tea & Bread was one of this year’s best spots on campus for nourishment of mind, body, and spirit. It happened every Sunday night in the University Forest Apartment of Callie Cinque, ’20, and her roommates.

“I like to say that my life has happened around a kitchen table,” said Cinque, whose family get-togethers have revolved around kitchen and dinner tables all her life. “I’ve always felt that I can get to know someone better if I’m having a meal with them.”

She’s also a dedicated baker, an enviable trait in any college roommate, but it doesn’t come without its problems when you do it every week. For example, how much bread can four seniors sharing an apartment reasonably eat?

That’s why they decided to throw their doors open to the campus community on Sunday nights. The rules were simple: Come one, come all. There was no formal invite, no charge for a slice of zucchini bread or cup of tea. Just drop by between 9 and 11, stay as long as you like. The marketing, if you can call it that, was purely word-of-mouth. “Tell anyone you know that they can bring anyone they know,” Cinque and her roommates told their friends.

And what they discovered, to their delight, was that if you bake it, they will come.

They think they’ve hosted as many as 60 people a night — they don’t keep count — but what matters most is that they’re meeting new people and adding a touch of community.

“It wasn’t like we intended, ‘If people come here, they’re going to talk,’” Cinque said. “but if people are sharing food, they’re going to be conversing.”