The Greenhouse Café has reopened and is under new management. Leah Bodine of Blue Dragonfly Catering joined the Park with an upbeat attitude, over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and an assortment of ideas to add her personal touch to the visitor-favorite eatery. We spoke with Leah about her experience with Allerton, plans to engage the community with the Café, and more! Check out the interview below.
When did you start your business and why?
I started my business 12 years ago because of my love of hospitality and cooking.
How has your business changed over time?
When I first started, I was an upscale casual caterer featuring Southern BBQ, Cajun and Creole cuisine. I now focus on Mediterranean cuisine from countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. Spain, France, Egypt, Moroccan, Italy, and Greece.
If you had to describe the spirit of the Café in three words, what would they be?
Fresh, vibrant, and welcoming.
What are the most important lessons you have learned in your food journey so far?
Don’t let fear of trying a new recipe or cuisine stop you from building your palate or business.
What are your favorite menu items?
Allerton “T”, chicken salad, and any crazy idea I come up with to feature as a special!
How do you see your business/the Café growing?
With the coming addition of beer and wine sales, I would like to host more patio events like Happy Hours, Music on the Patio, and specialty events such as art shows.
How would you describe your experience working with Allerton?
It has been amazing! From day 1 it has been a partnership with exceptional support from the Allerton staff and management.
How you do see the Café and Allerton positively impacting the community together?
I believe as we continue our journey together, we can do events which can be used as fundraisers and promote local organizations. As I continue to grow, I will be working closely with local producers to provide ingredients for the Café and catering menus.
Can you tell us something special or unique about the Café that people may not know?
The Café is an excellent place to host small business meetings during the week. We have 2 inside rooms available and of course, the patio.
Any message to the community or anything else you would like to add?
Please watch for updates and new specials. We are always spinning our brains to come up with specials and new menu items.