CHAPEL HILL, NC – More than two years ago, a vision to provide flexible dining with delicious delicacies for even the pickiest of palates was just an idea. This month, that dream became a reality for residents and staff at Carolina Meadows, the largest continuing-care retirement community in the Triangle.
Residents now have four exciting new dining options to choose from: The Marketplace, The Pub, The Courtyard Dining Room and The Bake Shop. These dining areas offer residents more flexibility and an expanded variety of food and service options, ranging from casual, first-come, first-served dining to an elegant reservation-only restaurant.
“It’s choice. It’s being able to just get up in the morning and say ‘what do I feel like having today?'” said Brad Itzkowitz, Vice President of Dining Services at Carolina Meadows.
Itzkowitz said a complete overhaul of the original 30-year-old dining facility was needed to provide the best dining experience possible.
“Before, this space was a one-concept fine dining restaurant with a limited menu,” said Itzkowitz. “Now, we have a variety of options – from lobster rolls to Philly cheesesteaks and even a selection of local beers on tap.”
Itzkowitz said what he’s most excited about is partnering with local vendors to provide sustainable products that support the area’s economy and connect Carolina Meadows to the community.
“All of our ice cream is from Mooresville Ice Cream Company, which is very local,” Itzkowitz said. “Our hamburgers and much of our all-natural meat comes from family farms, and we use many local bakeries like Guglhupf and Bagel Bar.”
And it isn’t just the delicious food that has Itzkowitz celebrating. Now that employees have enough space to eat alongside residents in The Marketplace, the bonds between residents and the staff have strengthened.
“Being here for so long, you gain one-on-one relationships with most of the residents,” said Tabitha Brown, supervisor of The Marketplace. “They feel comfortable with you, they enjoy talking to you and it’s great. I love it!”
In her eighth year on staff at the community, Brown said those relationships are what makes working at Carolina Meadows so special, even during challenging times, such as the winter storm that hit the region in late January. Ice and snow forced many area residents to stay home, but bad weather didn’t faze Carolina Meadows’ employees.
“People that weren’t even scheduled came on their days off and slept here on air mattresses for three days to make sure the residents and the staff had something to eat,” said Itzkowitz. “We kept everybody very happy throughout the snowstorm.”
So, what’s the future of Carolina Meadows dining services?
“We’re fine tuning, building upon it and getting better and better,” said Itzkowitz. “As the needs of our residents change, so will what we do and what we offer.”
Reflecting on the past few years’ efforts, Itzkowitz said, “I just think this has been a joy. It’s wonderful to be part of this community. I’m very blessed to be here and have such an amazing team and I just really look forward to the future.”
About Carolina Meadows
Carolina Meadows, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was founded in 1983 and is one of the nation’s foremost continuing-care retirement communities. The 166-acre campus boasts private homes and apartments that include a state-of-the-art wellness center, indoor pool, dining venues, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and much more. Visit Carolina Meadows online atwww.carolinameadows.org.