Café with a Conscience: 'Enlightened Café' Serves Healthy Foods, Addicts in Recovery

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VENTNOR, N.J. -

A new café has opened up in Ventnor providing the community with organic, wholesome and nutritious foods and beverages.

But unlike other such shops, all of the proceeds at the new Enlightened Café go towards a special cause.

With every cup of coffee, smoothie, and breakfast bowl served, customers get plenty of nutrients. And with every purchase made, recovering addicts receive scholarships to go towards their treatment.

“This café is for everyone," said Jennifer Hansen, CEO of Enlightened Solutions. "This café is ... bringing fresh organic food into the neighborhood, where we didn’t have anything [before].”

More than 20 years clean after battling her own heroin addiction, Hansen opened the café about three weeks ago.

We’re trying to reduce the stigma of people with addictions and get some awareness out there, and connect them to the general community.

Inspired by where she went to rehab in California, Hansen continues to work towards helping people in recovery through her own foundation, as well as Enlightened Solution’s treatment center.

“You know, we’re trying to really reduce the stigma of people with addictions and get some awareness out there, and connect them to the general community,” said Hansen.

Whether you want to fuel your body with something wholesome or help those going through recovery, you can get enlightened with something as small as a smoothie.

“If you eat something here, you can honestly feel like you’re eating something that’s good for you,” said Carl Colucci, a chef at Enlightened Café.

Many of the employees that help run the café have been somehow affected by addiction and are proud of what the business stands for.

“I’m from a great family, this is just where I went south along the way,” said Samantha Loyle, manager of Enlightened Café. “And I was ready and willing to get better, but a lot of times when you’re ready for that, financially, your ends are kind of coming to a close.”

Beyond the food and drinks, Enlightened Solutions has space in the back of the building dedicated to outpatient services for meetings, yoga classes, and even more space to bring the community together.

“There’s nothing else like this,” said Loyle. “Nothing that has organic food right here, ready to go with the coffees, the teas, and the fact that the back is open for the meetings and the different events we have going on, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

There is also a stage for live entertainment. 

So whether you want to grab a smoothie before the beach or learn a little bit more about the cause, Enlightened Café is ready to serve.

Click here for more on the Enlightened Café or here for information on Enlightened Solutions. 

Recommended: Watch Every Episode of 'Road to Recovery' on SNJ Today (VIDEOS)


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