Three Decatur businesses receive Welcoming Business awards(Left to right) Molly Linkous-Stewart with The Cereal Lab, Cremalosa owner Meredith Ford and Rebel Teahouse owner Christine Nguyen accepted Welcoming Business awards on Dec. 5, 2023. Photo courtesy of the city of Decatur.
Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur and the Decatur Business Association presented Welcoming Business Awards to Cremalosa, Rebel Teahouse and The Cereal Lab on Dec. 5 during the Hometown Heroes ceremony.
Each business is given a Welcoming Business mat to display at their stores.
The Better Together Advisory Boards name recipients of the Welcoming and Inclusive Business Award each year to be given out by the city commission in conjunction with Decatur’s Hometown Hero Awards. According to the city’s website, award criteria include:
– Increasing accessibility for people with disabilities;
– Creating a welcoming environment for people who are historically marginalized based on race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age;
– Recruiting and hiring practices aimed at creating a diverse staff;
– Training of staff to be aware of diversity and offer welcome to all patrons;
– Creating an overall welcoming and inclusive environment while supporting public health in the City of Decatur by implementing necessary protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic;
– Anything else that creates a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Better Together Advisory Board Members Syreeta Campbell and Claire Anderson announced the awards on Dec. 5.
“We’re honored to present this award that acknowledges businesses who take intentional steps to increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities, to remove barriers of any perceived stereotypes, perceived obstacles like race, gender, sexual orientation, or age, and take extra steps to make sure that our citizens and patrons who visit these businesses feel welcome,” Campbell said.
Here are this year’s Welcoming Business Award recipients:
Cremalosa opened in February 2020 in the Cortland East development on East College Avenue.
“I can’t teach people how to be nice,” Owner Meredith Ford said. “I can teach them customer service, but I really can’t teach them how to be nice. When they walk through the door and apply for a job, I kind of figure out right away if they’re going to be that way or not. We have three criteria for our employees – be nice, be clean, and we make the best gelato.”
Ford added that she likes to make people feel good.
Cremalosa is located at 2657 E. College Ave., suite B3. The store is open for coffee Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and open for gelato Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about Cremalosa, click here.
– Rebel Teahouse
Rebel Teahouse opened on East Ponce de Leon Avenue in October 2022.
Owner Christine Nguyen thanked Business Development Manager Shirley Baylis and the city for making the teahouse feel welcome, and said it’s the least Rebel Teahouse can do to be welcoming back to the community, she said.
“To us, being a welcoming business and getting this award means a lot because it means that all of our efforts haven’t gone to waste – all of the training that we’ve done between each other, teaching each other different mannerisms, making sure the whole staff knows that we’re a place that promotes inclusivity, the city being so helpful with helping us with our grant to get a handicap door button installed so that we could support accessibility, that was amazing,” Nguyen said.
Rebel Teahouse is located at 225 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., #110. The store is open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information about Rebel Teahouse, click here.
– The Cereal Lab
The Cereal Lab opened in November 2022 on West Ponce de Leon Avenue.
“It is an honor to accept the Welcoming Business Award. It’s a testament not only to our efforts but to the incredible spirit and inclusivity that thrives here in Decatur. Your support has been the backbone of our success in creating a space where everyone feels like part of the big, happy family,” said Molly Linkous-Stewart, a cerealologist at Cereal lab.
She also thanked the city staff for their support.
“Working alongside you has been instrumental in cultivating a space where inclusivity and warmth are the norm, where families and friends gather in a place that feels like home,” Linkous-Stewart said. “This award reinforces our commitment to these values and inspires us to keep enhancing our welcoming atmosphere for all.”
The Cereal Lab is located at 335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., suite D. The store is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about The Cereal Lab, click here.
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