Hafner’s Jo-li-me Fresh Garden Café

01 Feb

It is always my pleasure to promote local businesses in the area. And as a member of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Ambassador’s Group, we recognize local businesses who are celebrating milestones — whether it is a grand opening, a new addition, or a 50 year anniversary.

Last week, on Monday January 24th, a group of Ambassadors met to present a Certificate to Lisa and John Caveny on the opening of their new café, Jo-Li-Me (pronounced “joe-lah-mae”), named after John, Lisa and their daughter Megan. That’s cool. Jo-Li-Me Cafe

Everyone in the area knows where Hafner’s Garden Center is in North Syracuse. The huge greenhouses are hard to miss. And the grounds there are nothing short of awesome, especially in the spring when everything in Upstate New York feels reborn after our long winters — a wonderful part of the changing of the seasons.

SO many of us are SO ready for THIS winter to be SO OVER! Bring on the green grass and flowers!

On this particular day, we walked into a bright beautiful, peaceful space created out of a portion of one of the greenhouses. That in itself was pretty cool. Even more unique was the story behind the beautiful wooden tables and enormous beams that have a home in this space.

John and his family wanted to save a piece of their family’s heritage to bring with them to this new venture. And, there are companies out there that specialize in deconstruction. Who knew??

So the beams from a barn on the original Hafner property — dating back in the mid-1800s — were pulled by Rob Englert of D-Build, a local company who specializes in deconstruction.

Once pulled out, local cabinet fabricator, Chris Clemans of CabFab, transformed the beams into the tables located throughout the café. Some of the beams were placed overhead, which gives the space a majestic class.

The soup and sandwich some of us had there was pretty darn good too — made with fresh ingredients that come right from the greenhouses. Another unique aspect of this new café.

The goal of Jo-Li-Me, John explained, is to help make Chuck Hafner’s Garden Center a destination. Customers can come and stay for a few hours, starting out by having something to eat in the café, then walking through the seemingly endless array of beautiful plants and shrubs. And returning to the café — or the ice cream stand that is packed throughout the summer — to get something for the road.

There will be seasonal plants displayed throughout the café all year long. John explained that since the greenhouses are made of special glass — and since the café is part of one of the actual greenhouses containing this glass — the plants that make the transition from the growing area of the huge complex to the café are not “stressed”, and remain strong, lush and beautiful for a long time.

Of course, I took lots of pictures before and after we presented John and Lisa with their Certificate. And later that day, I created a special card for them — complete with smiling employees — celebrating the opening.

It’s fun to celebrate events like this. Ordinary people creating something extraordinary.

Do you have a special picture you would like to send someone in a card? Maybe for Valentine’s Day? Visit my website. You can pick out a card from one of the 15,000 on the site, pull up your picture inside (or even make your own card out of multiple pictures) and have it sent out for you, (through the US mail — NOT an e-card!) without ever touching a stamp, piece of paper, or envelope.

Make their day!

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Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Cool Card Stories


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