Wednesday, November 22, 2017
There’s a 24-hour French Bakery and Café that’s way more than an all hours go-to for a hot meal, a cup of coffee, or a strong WiFi signal. Amélie’s, located in NoDa (short for North Davidson), the arts district in Charlotte, North Carolina has become a cultural staple of the community. Not only has Amélie’s committed itself to giving back; it’s also serving up a mean brioche à têt in the process. Check out the photo essay below to learn more about why Charlotte is sweet on Amélie’s.
“When I was growing up, people would ask me what Charlotte was like,” Stephanie Haviv, Amélie’s Marketing and Online Customer Service Manager explains. “I used to say, ‘It’s a banking town.’” That all changed in 2008, when Amélie’s opened its original location. Along with a few other coffee shops all opening around same time, Stephanie says that Charlotte finally got “that coffee culture that every quintessential American town has.” Open 24 hours, and serving a myriad of food items including a full French pastry list and various soup, salad, and sandwich treats, Amélie’s generated buzz in Charlotte from the beginning. The thing that kept the buzz going, however, came from its other contributions to the community.
Community outreach is a huge part of what Amélie’s is and what it stands for as a local business. Amélie’s has become an important part of the fabric of Charlotte, working with a halfway house that helps transition people, women especially, from prison back into society. Amélie’s helps train them and arm them with a skill set to become productive members of society. “Two of the women” Stephanie mentions, “still work with us today.” Along with the halfway house, Amélie’s also works with a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse, not only helping them recover but also providing them with job opportunities at one of its five locations.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen the sign on the door,” Stephanie inquires, “but we’re a certified safe place, where teenagers and children who feel threatened or abused can come.” Amélie’s entire staff is trained to make sure these individuals are okay and feel safe. Along with that, Amélie’s is a member of the Charlotte business guild for LGBTQ. “We want to be a place where people feel comfortable,” Stephanie explains. “A place where people leave happy.”
Looking toward the future, Amélie’s plans to continue to stick to its values and make community outreach central to its business if it decides to expand to different cities around the country. Stephanie is proud to say that Amélie’s impact will be a positive one, “If we’re in your town, it’s going to be good for everybody.”