Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Urban Oasis

This past Spring Thomas Pelletier joined in the ecoNewBedford project taking on outdoor maintenance. Since Thomas is also a tremendous landscape creative, this included construction of productive container gardens growing food for his family and surplus going to the Center Cafe. We're inspired having fresh herbs growing out back, and have added seating in the garden.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Letterpress Studio at ecoNewBedford

If you're looking to develop with this craft - there's a Chandler Letterpress with ample workshop and staffed adjoining retail space available.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Off-Centre Opens

Next door to the Center Cafe, we have opened a shop for local, upcycled, and unique crafted gifts. We are open on weekends during this season. Look through our collection for special gifts. (see )

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Center Cafe Opens

Last week the dream of a neighborhood Cafe on this busy corner was finally realized ! As written about in earlier posts - the Cafe gets its vibe from modern frugal simplicity and the local residents and visitors who fill it. Sometimes jokingly referred to as the Serenity Cafe - its being called the "Center Cafe" - being in the center of the building (aka "center bay") , center of the peninsula, and a center for life. Open morning to night. See
Local artist Nick Melo is displaying eight paintings, our coffee is Equal Exchange, our ice cream comes from Bliss Brother's Dairy, and the menu offers "real food". Three neighbors keep things running unbelievably smooth. The challenge of this entire project is now expressed in this goodness. The role of experienced design in business development should not be underestimated (read more at alternativearchitecture. Thank you "eco" New Bedford.

Sustainability at the Cafe

Sustainable Operations at the Center Cafe include:
- serving on dishes
- keeping all recyclables out of the trash
- composting all vegetable waste & coffeegrounds
- using passive cooling (continuous ventilation, shading, thermal protection)
- beverage cooler shuts off overnight

During Fitout
- construction trash continued to be sorted
- excess materials from previous work was put to use
- a cast iron sink was reused
- two vintage chairs reupholstered.
- selectively purchased used equipment and fixtures
- continued to buy local

New Local Plumbing Contractor!

Although the Cafe space was finished over the winter to convey the possibility for opening this business, approval from the Board of Health required upgrades to the existing plumbing. Many of the contractors who have worked on this project, feel like part of a team who recognize one another and together do the finest work. Medeiros Plumbing and Heating just happened to be dropping into the Quik Mart, when this project needed a reasonable local plumber to complete the Cafe.
Reusing this vintage sink is just one example of how well the work was completed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Revival of the Mom and Pop !

The center store has been developed for a limited food service - such as gourmet coffee and ice cream plus soups and salads - see previous posting.
Throughout construction of the townhouses two commercial spaces remained vacant but always active with construction. Materials were worked on here and stored here. Even though we would have moved out for an incoming business, the unfinished shell was unable to attract potential business.

A strategy developed, though, to prep the space with intentions to make it more turnkey for the opening of a new business. An approach described as Frugal Design is being used to make this space uniquely appealing and satisfying. Getting past the many hurdles of constructing a new space is not for every new business owner. With this space available and assistance from NBEDC, it is just a matter of time to attract a determined and creative entrepreneur.

Contact Us if you have an interest in this business opportunity or would like design assistance in developing a property. Professional design skills are essential to getting the most out of a property investment.