The Gavel Restaurant in Charlotte was recognized this past December for its efforts in creating a healthier community. The Gavel, which partnered with the Capital Area Health Alliance (CAHA), Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital and AL!VE to create a new AL!VE Inspired Healthy Menu, is the recipient of the 2014 Healthy Lifestyles and Choosing Health Advancement Award.
“The Gavel Restaurant is honored to receive the Healthy Lifestyles Advancement Award,” said Nicci Hewitt-Weinert, owner along with her husband, Justin Weinert of The Gavel in downtown Charlotte. “We are proud to state we are part of the Choosing Health Restaurant Inititiave.”
The Gavel was identified as a potential partner for the CAHA program by AL!VE executive director Patrick Sustrich. Sustrich said he had several conversations with Tom Hewitt, former owner The Gavel, over the years about ways the restaurant could partner with the hospital to create a healthy menu.
“We were just never able to put it all together,” Sustrich said. “So when the grant became available, it was really a no brainer to reach out to The Gavel because of those previous conversations we had.”
Justin and Nicci worked extensively with HGB nutrition specialist Deb Dillon, to create a menu that featured healthy selections for adults and children.
“It was great to kick ideas around,” Justin said. “We took a lot of the things that we already had, so our customers can still get the great flavor they remember, we just made the selections healthier.”
All AL!VE Inspired Menu options contain 750 calories or less, 25 grams of fat or less and 8 grams of saturated fat or less. Additionally, kids menu items contain 600 calories or less, 35 percent or less of calories from total fat and 10 percent or less of calories from saturated fat or less.
“The biggest thing for us was to give people choices,” Nicci said.
“We’re not trying to change what our customers eat,” Justin added, “we just wanted to offer a place people could come and get a healthy meal.”
While the partnership may not directly benefit HGB and AL!VE, Sustrich said it follows with the organization’s mission to enhance the overall health and vitality of the community.
“One of the things we had hoped when we developed our vision of AL!VE was being able to impact the health of the community for folks who may never even step into our building,” Sustrich said. “It demonstrates that you don’t have to come in this building to be impacted by the things we’re working on in the community.”
The community response to the AL!VE Inspired Healthy Menu has been extremely positive, Nicci said.
“The collaboration between AL!VE and CAHA has been amazing,” she said. “This is something new and unique. You can really feel the excitement.”