A Franklin café that opened last September has donated more than $53,000 to local nonprofits, lending a helping hand to folks in need throughout the county.

When Main and Madison Market Café opened, it had a policy of not accepting tips. People ignored that rule, leaving money on tables anyway. It was then that café management decided to donate all tips to local causes, co-owner Amy Richardson said.

“Every month, we donate to a different charity,” Richardson said. “Our management team meets and looks at the mission of the organization. Are they a registered nonprofit? … It could even be the greater Johnson County area, but we try the best we can to have a local tie-in.”

People are still not expected to tip when they visit Main and Madison, but a sign by the cash register states which organization those tips, if they must, will go to.

One of the biggest impacts the giving has had on an organization was in October, when Main and Madison Café donated $4,272 to Johnson County Banquets. It was the largest donation the organization had ever received in its 12 years, Richardson said.

The banquet serves as a place for people to go and eat for free on Thanksgiving when they have nowhere else to turn. It is open each year to all county residents.

Almost all months have yielded more than $4,000 in tips, Richardson said.

In its first month of business, Main and Madison Café donated to Franklin Heritage, which runs the Artcraft Theatre and helps restore Franklin homes. Franklin Heritage also helped design the outside of the café before it opened, she said.

In December, all proceeds from tips went to the Dressember Foundation, a group which has women wear dresses and men wear bowties throughout the month to help raise awareness for human trafficking. The group spends its money to help people rescued from human trafficking with basic necessities, such as shampoo, Richardson said.

“It’s absolutely heartwarming to know that we can be a vehicle for such wonderful things in our community,” co-owner Ashley Schultz said in a news release. “We are so proud each month to present the check to the nonprofit that has been chosen.”

At a glance

Main and Madison Cafe has donated to the following non-profit organizations:

  • Franklin Heritage
  • Girls Inc.
  • Franklin Boys and Girls Club
  • Johnson County Senior Services
  • Johnson County Humane Society
  • Kic-It
  • The Franklin Schools’ PTOs
  • Interchurch Food Pantry
  • Beats for Bristol
  • The Dolly Parton Imagination Library
  • Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build
  • Center for Global Impact
  • Aspire Johnson County
  • Johnson County Banquets
  • Dressember Foundation


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