Colorado Springs

ONLY ON 13: Former executive director of closed cafe says accusations are inaccurate

WATCH Former executive director of...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A unique cafe in Colorado Springs where customers paid what they could has closed its doors. 

Seeds Community Cafe Board president Gene Tanski said they closed the restaurant because of past financial decision and a difficult to sustain the pay what you can business model.

"It became obvious that we would either need to incur further debt or we wouldn't have the operational funds to continue," Tanski said. 

Tanski said during Lyn Harwell's time as executive director for Seeds, Harwell mismanaged money and racked up thousands of dollars in debt without board members' knowledge. 

Harwell now co-owns Create Cafe in Manitou Springs said the accusations of his mismanagement at Seeds Community Cafe are inaccurate. 

"There's been issues with finances with Seeds since we opened. Every board member knew that, it's in every report. It's in our 990s, our board meeting reports which are public," Harwell said. 

Harwell said he hasn't been involved in the financial aspect of the non-profit since last August, and notified the board at every meeting that more fundraising was needed. 

He believes if he hadn't left Seeds earlier this year the cafe would still be open. 

"It's the legacy of Seeds that's really important, we can throw mud back and forth, but that doesn't do any good," Harwell said. 

Harwell along with Tanski hopes the mission Seeds worked towards can still leave a lasting legacy. 

"The lives that were changed, the lives impacted is what I hope people will remember and continue throughout this community," Harwell said. 

Tanski also said with Seeds closing he hopes other organizations will step up and fill the void of providing food and training to those in need. 


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