Yes, I’m talking about pumpkin spice. Personally, I’m more of a peppermint mocha kind-of-person. The perpetual pumpkin spice obsession that plagues us every autumn never did quite appeal to the taste buds of yours truly. But for some reason, all my previous seasonal flavor preferences went out the window.
I blame the staff member who took my order.
She smiled up at me and patiently waited as I scanned the menu once again looking for the perfect side pairing for my Cuban panini (hello, Mac ‘n Cheese!). Maybe I panic-ordered the pumpkin spice latte, maybe I didn’t. All I know is that she was so incredibly friendly that I ended up in the corner of this sunny establishment sipping on pumpkin spice. Bloom Café, she’s a keeper.
After grabbing my receipt and table number, I ventured over to the corner of the café to snag a table. The café’s design practically resembles my own personal aesthetic. A flower stem or two fills up a vase at every table. Colorful wall accents brighten up the rest of the earth-toned room. And much of the café is basking in natural light, an effect that confidently contributes another level of cheerfulness.
Through the Paraquad program, Bloom Café allows individuals with disabilities to progress from a training program to a paid internship and eventually job placement in the community. Not only is their mission inspiring, but it’s a huge step for St. Louis.
This goes beyond just a mission statement. This is a movement. One that inspires kindness and consideration for those around us. One that sees ability within all of us.
According to Bloom Café, people living with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed or living in poverty. With their unique job training program, employees blossom with new skillsets and bloom into their full potential.
I was aware of this program before ever stepping foot in the café; back in March I attended the “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” event hosted on Kiener Plaza by Explore St. Louis and spoke with one of the chefs at their booth. He gave me a Bloom Café sticker and I promised him I’d stop by for lunch. I only wish I had taken him up on the invitation sooner.
Consider Bloom Café another regular breakfast and lunch spot in St. Louis’ increasingly creative cuisine scene. They’ll change your perspective in more ways than just pumpkin spice.
This post in the Live like a Local series came together over the course of several cups of coffee and was transcribed from the scribbles of a local’s notebook to her laptop.