A therapeutic coffee shop was opened in Bucharest a month ago.
Bucharest, a crowded city in which people are always on the run, saw the launch of a therapeutic coffee shop, one month ago. It is a unique concept of a cafe, with themes and events focusing on therapy forms: psychotherapy, art-therapy and occupational therapy. It is a therapeutic coffee shop where you can stop for relaxation or for a talk with the therapists there. Andreea Grigore, the manager of Therapy Coffee Shop told us how the project began:
Andreea Grigore: “We started from the idea of creating a space where people can have a meal, a detox juice of the best quality, where music can be heard in the background, where one can work in silence, is surrounded by plants and the air is fresh. The design is simple but welcoming, it is a very bright space. The café was made by the ALIAT NGO, with European funds. It is actually someone else’s dream but I joined in this project of making a café where people don’t smoke or drink alcohol. There are actually two managers, my colleague Razvan Marin, who is more of an artist, and I. We complement each other, which is great.”
Adreea Grigore says that everybody asks her why the café is called therapeutic. Although the project is still developing and growing and they still don’t have a list of events, people have already gone to the café for cancer therapy and also for therapy through drawing, painting, music and art. And the space is very welcoming:
Andreea Grigore: “The Therapy Coffee Shop is located in downtown Bucharest, in a very beautiful building belonging to a lady that bought it from the Sturza family. The house has a beautiful history, and I believe it is permeated with a certain kind of energy, which everybody seems to have felt, because they just come and have a really good time here. I believe this is the kind of venues Bucharest needs. We wanted to have a cheerful space here. I had help from a friend who’s been working with houseplants for 17 years now, and she brought us all the plants. She came, saw the place and returns every week with a couple of other plants. There’s no smoking or drinking here, because this is the kind of space that agrees with plants and resembles to a flower shop, to some extent. It’s a constantly changing space, because plants are growing here. Some of our plants have extended all the way to the ceiling, so we will virtually have a genuine botanical garden here.”
And since the Therapy Coffee Shop is a work in progress, we’ve asked Andreea Grigore about her future plans:
Andreea Grigore: “Our garden is quite big, and we will divide it in five areas. Each area will have its own specificity. One will have wild vines, another cacti; there will be five different sections, each with its own mood, shady and very quiet. The furniture will differ as well. The house is not so big, but it has three large areas. There’s the conference room, where people gather, they can hold their sessions there, write on the board, there’s a space particularly devoted to this, or people can have lunch here or use the room as the venue of an event. There’s also the big room, which will serve as a dining hall. There’s a specific place in the room, filled with pillows, that people are particularly drawn to. And then there’s the long room, which we will use as an exhibition area. Right now the ALIAT NGO uses the room to make dolls.”
As a social enterprise, Therapy Coffee Shop uses products from other social enterprises, without the temptation to run a regular business. The products used are Romanian made and high quality, because that is the entire point, to make things that are good to eat, to look at and listen to. As another ALIAT project, the coffee shop aims to promote a healthy lifestyle, but it is also an opportunity for people to learn about other projects of this sort.
Andreea Grigore: “This is an area ALIAT hasn’t dealt with until now. They have kindergartens, clinics, ALIAT is an acronym that stands for ‘alliance against alcohol and drug addiction’, which is why we don’t drink or smoke here. They built a coffee shop to socialize, people come to eat, hang out and exchange news. I have the luck of having a team of people as involved as Razvan and I are, who want to do things, such as preserves, or bread dough, which is very important. In addition to products for the bar, an excellent coffee blend, all the freshly squeezed juices imaginable, we juice every kind of fruit, the more the healthier. In the kitchen we have a convivial cook, passionate, who gets our concept, and that shows in her cooking. We have great food, with free range organic chicken.”
In addition to the great food, which can be had right there or ordered away, Therapy Coffee Shop holds all kinds of events. You can see the list of events on their Facebook page, or you can contact the organizers in case you want to attend. In any case, everyone is guaranteed to have a good time.