A diamond in the rough: Rose Petals Cafe & Lounge

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It was a brisk, Sunday afternoon, the January breeze stinging my skin as I stepped out of my friend Carolan’s car. Snowbanks lined the streets and buried cars as we walked up Chelten Avenue in Germantown, exploring the different restaurant options along the sidewalk. There was the usual convenient meals the neighborhood has to offer for low-income families: a Burger King, gas station, a cheap, run-down pizza shop. Not exactly what one might consider nutritious. However, among the many shops, one stood out from the rest.

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Carolan and I stepped into Rose Petal Cafe & Lounge, located at 322 West Chelten Avenue in Germantown. About ten people sat throughout the little cafe, enjoying a late brunch. A waitress carries steaming mugs to a table, whipped cream melting around the top. She immediately welcomes us, and we sit at the bar and order mugs of coffee. In one corner of the restaurant, a television and lounge chairs offer a cozy section to relax and stay a while. On another side of the room, there are long tables and small round tables that offer either a casual lunch or a more intimate dinner date for customers.

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Rose Petal Cafe & Lounge offers a more elegant style of food compared to the other places we saw along Chelten Ave. Desmin Daniel, owner and head chef, came out from where he was preparing food to introduce himself to us. The cafe has been open for 6 months; Desmin and his wife, Jania, who sat at the counter beside me, opened the restaurant to honor the memory of their loved ones who had passed away. After the passing of Desmin’s sister and grandmother, they realized it was time to fulfill their dreams in the restaurant business.

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A friendly, laid-back atmosphere, Desmin explained that they specialize and take pride in the numerous styles of waffles they serve. They also serve deli sandwiches, have a smoothie bar, and on Friday and Saturday evenings it becomes a lounge, where people can enjoy live entertainment and a special Latin/soul fusion dinner menu celebrating a blend of Puerto Rican and African-American cultures. Since the restaurant is still in it’s prime time, the menu continues to expand over time, and the Daniels are excited about future plans for their business.

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If you are looking for an intimate affair for the Valentine’s Day weekend, there will be a special on February 14th and 15th to celebrate love and friendship. The evening includes an appetizer, choice of dinner, dessert, and complimentary wine for $29.99/per person. If not Valentine’s Day, Rose Petal Cafe & Lounge is a perfect place to spend an afternoon, reading a book and indulging in some gourmet food. Stop in, you won’t regret it.

For more information, visit the restaurant on their website or Facebook page:
http://rosepetalscafe.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RosePetalsCafeAndLounge

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Wingert explores the hunger issue in Germantown

For Tom Wingert, what started as an administrative position at La Salle University turned into the founding of his own non-profit organization. Working on projects addressing social justice issues, particularly hunger in the Philadelphia area, Wingert founded the Germantown Hunger Network.

While finding ways to engage students with the Exploring Nutrition Project at La Salle, Wingert realized the impact an engaged network would have that would focus on how food security is dealt with in Philadelphia and around the country.2014-01-23 18.39.44

“The goal is to change the hunger landscape in North Philadelphia,” said Wingert.

To make the Exploring Nutrition Project work, Wingert reached out to programs such as Philabundance and SHARE Food Network to find out what they do to project approach through the university. This inspired the Germantown Hunger Network. Wingert realized these programs feed hungry people, but they are not working together in a specific neighborhood to make a significant impact. In this case, he explored Germantown, and realized the food pantries around the neighborhood were not connected to each other at all.

Currently almost 100 organizations have engaged as community partners with the Germantown Food Network. However, Wingert will be leaving his role and handing the network over to the other organizations he has been working with to take a job with Ignite-Good, an organization that trains millennial leaders in the non-profit world with the power of public narrative. He also has a relationship with the Huffington Post, the parent organization of Ignite-Good, writing blogs about Ignite Good and other topics he is passionate about.

“I’m 26-years-old, at the point where I am defining myself professionally, and I’ve achieved a pretty high level of success really really quickly, and I want to be able to ride on that,” Said Wingert.

Wingert will be traveling to 20 cities in 2014, looking for non-profit millenial leaders. After making a difference in the North Philadelphia neighborhoods improving hunger and nutritional health, Tom Wingert is ready to influence future non-profit entrepreneurs across the country.

For more information on the Germantown Food Network or Ignite Good, you can reach Tom Wingert at tom@ignite-good.com

Welcome!

Welcome! Nutrition is a topic that is often overlooked. When you are eating, do you ever think about how your body processes the food that you eat? Not only is it important to do something about hunger in local communities, but to to also to look at whether or not a community is reaching good nutritional health. This blog with analyze and explore nutrition in the Germantown community of North Philadelphia. Many people living in this area do not have adequate access to nutritional food. As a La Salle University student living in this area, it is an issue that impacts the community constantly. Additionally, as an athlete I know the importance of fueling your body the proper way.

Eat to live!