Saturday, January 30, 2016

Amelie's, the Ladies of W.E.A.N. and Changes

So, I have to apologize that I have not been blogging since the beginning of January. It seemed suddenly my calendar became jam-packed with networking and local social events. And, in these short weeks, Foodie4AccessCLT has become more of a solid reality than a concept I constantly babble about to anyone who stays still long enough to listen. I have even updated one of my earlier posts (So What is Foodie4AccessCLT?) because of all of evolving partnerships and connections. In response to the schedule changes, I will be posting shorter entries, but more of them. I also have a resident guest blogger! But, I am getting ahead of myself...

One of the first updates is that Monique Stamps and the Women of WEAN have partnered with F4ACLT to put together four events this year. The events will allow the ladies to discover new and interesting accessible foodie places around town as well as have social time together on different topics. I am so delighted to work with Monique! A certified Zumba trainer and peer support advocate, Monique totally gets the idea behind F4ACLT.

Not too long ago,we met at Amelie's in NoDa, which, by the way, will be the new meeting for WEAN in the future. In looking for a larger space that was accessible AND comfortable for multiple mobility devices, Amelie's won! It doesn't hurt that the WiFi and the treats are terrific!

Monique Stamps (left), founder of W.E.A.N. and Melissa Soriano
We discussed an event which was just recently completed; the taping of one-on-one interviews with the Ladies of W.E.A.N on the subject of disability and dating. The incomparable Saran Almond of "What Would She Do?" was our interviewer. Look for another blog post on that event soon!

Other ideas were thrown around the table as we noshed. And, then, Melissa Soriano began to tell me about her experience at Mimosa Grill. I don't want to give away all of her first blog post, but she will be my resident guest blogger from now on! This young lady, a member of W.E.A.N., gets around Charlotte, has her own business, and is so supportive of everyone in the community! I just love her and she is another reason F4ACLT is growing its wings!

So, suffice it to say, changes are a-coming! But, it is all good, and I hope you will enjoy the added content, the new faces and new places!

Front and ordering area of Amelie's. Larger room is toward the back of this picture.

Amelie's
2424 North Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-376-1781

Amelie's on Facebook

This is one of five locations from Charlotte to Atlanta, Georgia.
This location NEVER closes! Yes, we love that!

Reviews:
Google 
Zagat rated as well

Accessibility Notes:

Parking lot is FREE but can be very challenging due to the popularity of this place as well as other stores in the strip mall. There are steps and a ramp at one end.

There is no automatic door and there is a slight threshold that may be cumbersome for someone using a manual chair.

This can be a very busy location, but to the left is a larger room as well as an adjacent atrium (in the rear) with standard level tables and chairs. I suggest CA (Calling Ahead) if you have a large party.

There is an online menu located here. I use it as the menu items are written on a chalkboard at the location, though I believe there are paper menus available as well. Availability and price of treats are subject to change without notice, so CA (call ahead) for your favorites!

Sensory and hearing issues may be of concern when there is a large number of people present, but for the most part, it is relatively quiet with no overhead music. The atrium is considerably more noisy if crowded. It is well lit but there is a lot of decor items (beautiful to me!) that may be a distraction to some sensory sensitive people.

We did not use the restrooms here.

As always, if you have anything you would like to add to our reviews or our Accessibility Notes, please let us know!



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Julia's Cafe & Books - W.E.A.N. Coffee and Conversations Meeting

Logo for Julia's Cafe White mug outlined in blue with Habitat for Humanity Logon on it. Julia's Cafe and Books in Green with apostrophe and ampersand sign in blue
Logo for Julia's Cafe

Inside view of Cafee with bookshelves, moveable tables and chairs.
Nothing like networking, catching up and getting to know new people around some good food. Such was the recent Coffee and Conversations meeting of WEAN Charlotte - Women Embracing Abilities Now at Julia's Cafe and Books on N. Wendover Road.

I haven't laid eyes on some of these women in over a year, so it was at first a bunch of hugs and trying to catch up beyond Facebook posts and messages. If you are not familiar with WEAN, it is a group started in Maryland by Janice Jackson as a peer counseling/support group for women of varying degrees of disabilities. The goal is to not make the disabilities the focus of life, but to focus on the abilities that we all have.

Monique Stamps started a sister chapter here in Charlotte several years ago, and through sheer tenacity and the power of her personality, she has mentored and motivated a group of women to share their lives, their struggles and their triumphs with each other. I am happy to be a member of WEAN Charlotte and support their efforts. Monique is also a certified Zumba instructor, who regularly holds classes and Zumbathons here in Charlotte.

Julia's Cafe and Books is located on N. Wendover Road as a coffee house slash bookstore, where the proceeds of purchases support Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. So, it is a win-win place for great food and contributing to the community. From their own kitchen and other fantastic local food vendors, such as  Magnolia Coffee CompanyFriendship Trays, Br├╝ks Bars,Nova's BakerySecret Chocolatier, and Anderson's Catering, they provide a wide variety of food items, coffees and sweets. 

I had a Spinach Pie, which was pre-packaged, but easily reheated with the microwave provided in the bookstore. It was really good and a perfect health-conscious choice. Don't forget to go over to the Resource Store next door and peruse the gently used items for sale. There are wonderful bargains and finds not found anywhere else in the city. The items are replenished on a regular basis so check back often. And, enjoy a Chai Latte from Julia's!


Some of the lovely ladies of WEAN- each and every one a success story!
Ms. Vivian (left) and our fearless leader, Monique Stamps

Julia's Cafe & Books
1133 N. Wendover Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
704-295-4585

Julia's on Facebook

Hours: 

Wednesday7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
SundayClosed
Monday7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Review Link:

Google

Trivia Point:

Every Saturday at 10am, a volunteer reads to children of all ages!

Accessibility Notes:

On this one, accessibility is fantastic. I do recommend CA (Call Ahead) if you have several people who will use mobility devices. We had four women at our meeting and we did need to move tables out of the way. This was not a problem, but we did feel a little cramped.

Flat concrete sidewalk with ramp with low threshold at entrance. 

No automatic door, so someone will have to hold the door for anyone using a mobility device who needs assistance opening doors.

No online menu as their items change throughout the year. See food vendors listed with links above to get an idea of what can be offered. Again, CA if you want to be sure what is on the menu the day you want to go.

Establishment is moderately well-lit with smooth flooring. It is usually quiet, as people are reading or working here. There are children, and adults of all ages. Night-time, it is well lit with a very inviting feel!

Staff is VERY accommodating; friendly and supportive. Have never come here and had a bad customer service experience. 

Parking is free and plentiful, though it can fill up with Resource Store shoppers.