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.