Spicy Green Mango

--Living and eating with a dash of whimsy and a sprinkling of spice--

  • I'm a budding food-tographer turned blogger who's insanely passionate about food..real food...the kind that sprouts from the earth and you have to wash it to eat it. Yes, hearty real food. I live to eat and I eat to live and am loving every bit of it! If you're here, then I suppose we share the same passion! Enjoy!

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 12 comments

The theme song from Cheers says it perfectly:  "Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name."  Well, not everyone knew my name (and that's okay for now), but the lovely lady  behind the counter (whose name is Rachel and also happens to be one of the owners) at the newly restored Elmwood Cafe greeted me as if she did and I couldn't be more delighted.  There is something wonderful about walking into a new place and being greeted with a warm smile that makes you feel as if you're one of the regulars.  It speaks to the culture of the establishment: We value our patrons and we care enough to make you feel special.

This was my first impression of the Elmwood Cafe.  I had seen it as it was being renovated from the former Soda Fountain into what it is today: A spacious cafe straight out of a 1920's Pottery Barn catalog supplanted on the corner of College Avenue & Russell.  The entire time I was in there enjoying my fresh-squeezed glass of orange juice, I couldn't help but swoon over Elmwood's interior decor.  It is very cozy and I loved how the interior windows of the cafe allows you to glimpse into Mrs. Dalloway's bookstore next door (although, this might be a slightly biased opinion coming from a bookworm like myself). 

But what makes Elmwood really stand out (at least in my book) is its socially-conscious business model:  half of the cafe's profits will go towards a charitable organization or endeavor based on what their customers decide.  Yes, so the likes of you and I can directly impact where & how our dining dollars will be spent.  As a business student whose passion lies in the realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR), I cannot reiterate how awesome this is.  So, yeah, you'll pay a bit more for your latte or coffee, but you'll also be able to magnify the impact of that extra buck or two to support something that you believe in. 

In a time when our economy is forcing many small mom and pop businesses to close their doors, Elmwood is going against the grain and doing something that may seem mind-boggling to some, but in my book, quite ingenious and pretty darn inspiring. I hope you'll join me in supporting the heart (and backbone) of our economy:  wonderful mom and pop businesses such as Elmwood.  And as I learned in my corporate finance course this week, you should never underestimate the powerful implications of consumer demand. After all, we are the ultimate drivers of the marketplace; let's not forget that.

Walking back down College Avenue, I spotted a cute vintage Volvo--she's a beauty, alright.

Swinging a hat box in hand.  I love decade hopping!


12 Responses

  1. Frances says:

    Hey can you send me your number and email so we can talk about your photos for Berkeleyside? My email is FDinkelspiel@gmail.com I don't see a way to contact you directly/


  2. elra says:

    Will try to visit next time I am in Berkeley. Thanks for sharing your finding.

  3. rachel says:

    thanks so much for writing about our cafe and i am especially excited because of the great photo you took of my little blue volvo! we must have the same taste :)

  4. @Elra: Thanks and let me know how you like it!

    @Rachel: OMG, you really looked me up! I'm so glad you found me! And that's your adorable volvo? I should have known you had amazing taste! You were so sweet that day. Thank you!

  5. Brad says:

    Cool, thanks for sharing your experience

  6. I really enjoyed the photos you took for this post! It really captures the city well... and one of these days, I need to make a trip out there myself!

  7. @ Brad & Krissy: Thank you! I tried to capture the essence of what I love about Berkeley and College Avenue. I'm really glad you appreciate it :)

  8. Wow! Amazing photos! And a great read - btw, I love decade hopping too :D

  9. @Denise: Isn't decade hopping one of the best forms of therapy? I love strolling back in time while being surrounded by sights and flavors that sweeten the entire experience. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. i love your blog, your photos are amazing and i'm trying to find time to read everything.

    i'm gonna link u up, yr blog's too good to be missed :)

  11. Great photos!

    I used to Berkeley quite often to visit my sister when I was in college. Your photos brought back those great times. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :)

  12. @Bossacafez: Oh, you flatter me, but I LOVE LOVE your blog!

    @KM: Awe...thanks! It was nostalgic for me as well since I also went to Cal..whoot whoot! Go Bears!

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