CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A non-profit with the goal of helping women in recovery is expanding its mission to downtown Charleston through a new restaurant, “Café Appalachia Downtown,” located on McFarland Street.
What makes the restaurant unique is that all the workers are recovering from substance abuse, and the message of hope is served with every dish.
“There’s a lot of shame around it [substance abuse],” said Cheryl Law, founder of Pollen8 and co-owner of Café Appalachia. “The court system shames them. The family shames them. They shame themselves. So, that’s what we’re trying to change.”
Tiffany Hedrick graduated from the nonprofit’s “Reintegr8” program back in September. She is one of dozens working towards recovery through the non-profit’s three-chapter program.
“I went to jail and that’s where they asked me if I wanted to go to recovery and at first I was like I don’t need recovery,” said Hedrick. “I was in jail for about a month and I was like, ‘Okay maybe I do.’ And that’s where they sent me and it was the best thing that happened to me.”
The first step is addressing the underlying cause of addiction. The second is learning job skills through working at Café Appalachia (the location in South Charleston and the new location in Charleston) and the third is securing a full-time job and planning for what comes next.
“I think what makes us different is that we do treatment and help them get off the drugs,” Laws. “But it’s really not about the drugs to us, it’s about how do you live a life afterward where you don’t want to use drugs.”
The new location includes healthy, grab-and-go food, with an inside dining area open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will eventually also include an outside greenhouse area.
The grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 1:30 p.m.