Every year, on February 14th, cheesey $5 I<3U cards go out, midgrade chocolate sales skyrocket and the teddy bear industry cranks out last minute gifts for individuals to purchase for their significant others. It’s quite a marvel, really, how the history of St
Valentine has shifted to become a commercialized holiday treated as the step-sibling to the department store hunger games that take place on Black friday and Christmas. It is challenging to step back and look at how we are spending our time and energy around these times, how we feed into a system of buying gifts of monetary value instead of sharing something free and widely available: our love, for a partner, for family, and for community. This year, Ellie’s is challenging that basis of Valentine’s Day. We are focusing on YOU, as our community, as our friend, as someone we want to celebrate regardless of your relationship status, economic situation or any other factor. We want to extend our love for our community by dedicating this year to our love for Rhode Island.
We have built this season’s Valentine’s day line around our community, by using ingredients and flavors that are quintessential to Rhode Island. Our macarons are inspired by favorite childhood memories; Coffee Milk, Del’s Lemonade and Maple Johnny Cake. For those who are looking to share a treat with, Chef Melissa Denmark took from inspiration from her own Farm and apiary, Moonrose, and crafted a Honey orange “honeycomb” which once broken open reveals a luscious chocolate mousse and is mounted to a flourless chocolate torte.
Also, we are thrilled to begin a new program under the term “suspended coffee” . This is a tradition that originated in Naples and has gained global momentum. Suspending food and beverage is essentially another way of paying it forward, and creating a queue of nourishment for those who cannot afford a warm beverage or food on their table. Our mission at Ellie’s and Gracie’s is to be integrated into the community and do our part to take care of our neighbors .. it’s not just about making good coffee and wholesome food .. By establishing this program in Providence, we are all able to take part in combating hunger in a city full of restaurants and cafes. You can be confident that your efforts in supporting those less fortunate are actually being utilized.This means of engagement allows for us all to take care of our community.
By ordering a suspended coffee, you are essentially prepaying for an individual who does not have the means to nourish themselves. We will keep a tally, and hope to build the knowledge within our community that we offer this. If there are any suspended coffees leftover at the end of the week, hot coffee and pastry will be brought to a local shelter in need. Please consider ordering a suspended item for your fellow Rhode Islander, sometimes all they need is a warm beverage or hot food, something that we have the privilege of purchasing daily.