Bella Vista: Sustainability at Down Dog Healing Café

Recognizing the relationship between a sustainable environment and a healthy state of mind and body, Down Dog Healing Café provides its customers with a way to experience this connection.

DSC_0755Kei Kurimoto, who has previous experience in the restaurant industry as well as a background in studying holistic medicine and Ayurveda, opened Down Dog Healing Café at 10th and Carpenter streets in May 2013. This Ayurvedic-inspired café seeks to help individuals create a personal balance in their own lives, while drawing a connection to how they should be living in harmony with nature and the environment.

“For me, that just seems like that’s the way we should be living,” said Kurimoto. “There’s not really any other question about it. I want to make that more accessible to people.”

Down Dog Healing Café’s menu features a variety of seasonal rejuvenating tonics that help individuals to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle, while also working to prevent certain ailments and diseases. Some of the café’s most popular items include a honey turmeric lemonade which aids in supporting the immune system and treating inflammation, as well as an almond date smoothie that works to help ground one’s spirit.

DSC_0733Through events that include women’s workshops, skincare information sessions and exhibitions of local artists’ work, this café does more than just serve up beverages and small snacks. It also helps to serve the local community.

“Our initial intention was to be a hub for the community,” explained Kurimoto. “We want to create this space where people can come in and unload a little bit and just have a little peace throughout a hectic day.”

Kurimoto recognizes the connection this café creates between people, while ultimately helping to foster a deeper connection to one’s own self.

“People come and connect with each other and connect with our staff,” she said.  “They can connect with what they want to do in their lives.”

Nicollette McEwen, a barista and community outreach coordinator at Down Dog Healing Café, also sees how the store impacts people in a personal way.

“One of the best parts of this job is seeing our customers come in with a need and being able to help them feel well again,” she said. “I feel so much gratitude for that.”

In the future, Kurimoto would love to see holistic shops like Down Dog Healing Café expand to areas all around  Philadelphia and throughout the country as well, helping individuals attain their healthiest life.

“That really is our goal, to help people live their own life to their fullest,” said Kurimoto. “So it’s really amazing to see things like that happen.”]

– Text, images and video by Joanne Caruso.

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