Local Business

Eatery isn’t monkeying around

Cafe serves good grub, money goes to worthy cause

by Brady Rhoades

You want to like Monkey Business Cafe because it’s a non-profit that helps young people who’ve been knocking around in the foster care system.

Monkey Business Cafe, at 301 E. Amerige Ave. in Fullerton. Photo by Brady Rhoades

And I did appreciate it.

My wife and I have driven by Monkey Business, 301 E. Amerige Ave. in Fullerton, for years, and finally ducked in for breakfast on a recent Sunday.

The cafe was spacious and crowded on the inside, but there are three outdoor tables and it was warm and breezy so we took our seats beneath a canopy of green vines.

It was a busy morning for Monkey Business Cafe on a recent Sunday. Photo by Brady Rhoades.

I ordered the veggie omelette with wheat toast and a cup of fruit. Veggies included onions, peppers, and mushrooms with a sheathing of Monterey Jack cheese. The omelette was sizable, skillfully cooked and the right price at $12.

The toast was cold, however. It’s the only part of the meal that went sideways. You’ve got to get on-point with the bread, Monkey Business!

My wife had the traditional breakfast (scrambled eggs, waffles, bacon, toast). All delicious, but especially the bacon, she said. Crispy on the out, juicy on the in. $13.

At forefront is the veggie omelette at Monkey Business Cafe. Top, the traditional breakfast. Photo by Brady Rhoades.

Monkey Business is known for its stacked waffles and burgers, which I’ll try in the future. Most everything is priced in the $10-13 range.

The cafe is the brainchild of Hart Community Homes, which operates two residential treatment homes in Orange for boys 13-18. Most of the boys at the homes have experienced abuse, parental alcoholism and drug addiction, family mental illness, neglect, and abandonment.

According to a 1999-2000 Orange County Grand Jury report, 50 percent of the County’s foster youth who had been emancipated at 18 were unemployed and homeless.

The goal for the cafe is to employ and train foster kids-turned-adults after they’ve left the system.

“Our goal is to prepare individuals to successfully transition to permanent employment in the food industry or related field,” reads a mission statement on Hart’s website.

Revenues are reinvested into operations to support workforce training and mentoring.

Monkey Business was a win-win experience. Good eats and a good feeling when I paid the check.


Monkey Business Cafe

301 E Amerige Ave, Fullerton

(714) 526-2922 or 


MENU ITEMS: Breakfasts (including the popular stacked waffles), burgers, sandwiches, salads and starters such as pulled pork fries and loaded potato.