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CAMPUS NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04/30/01

A Serving of Health: Alumna Shares Healthy Food and Chiropractic with Restaurant Customers

APRIL 30, 2001 -  Kellie Roberge Chandler, D.C., ‘00, knew she wanted to enter private practice with her husband, tenth-quarter student Kevin Chandler, after his graduation in March 2002. But she wasn’t exactly sure how she would spend the time between their graduations.

Chandler feels it is important that she and Kevin enter practice together, so in the “down time” between graduations, she did what made the most sense to her - she opened a gourmet vegetarian restaurant, Kel’s Café, in Spartanburg.

I wanted to maintain my focus on chiropractic while waiting for Kevin to graduate,” Chandler says. “Opening Kel’s Café has given me the opportunity to educate people in the community about health and makes it easy for me to talk to them about chiropractic.”

A chiropractor who also has a background in nutrition from her undergraduate studies, Chandler knows the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals. “There are so many fast-food restaurants in Spartanburg, and I wanted to offer something completely different,” she says. “Kel’s Café is the only place in the county with a menu designed for vegans and vegetarians. I’m not here to please everyone; I’m here to please the people who care deeply about their health and are willing to make a switch in their eating habits to become healthier. I serve one dish with meat - an Italian sub - and I only decided to serve that because it’s my mom’s favorite meal.”

Chandler says about 90 percent of her “regulars” are under chiropractic care. “Because most of my customers are already health conscious, it’s easy to bring up the subject of chiropractic,” she says. “I explain to them that health and chiropractic go hand-in-hand, and that to get the best results from chiropractic care, they need to maintain the body by eating healthy foods too. I’ve referred a lot of my customers to the Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center or to local straight chiropractors.”

Chandler uses only fresh, organic ingredients and does not have a microwave. The menu at Kel’s Café changes weekly, but some of the more popular items include an eggplant tomato mozzarella cheese sandwich, Italian subs, baked potato soup, three layer lasagna and hummus, bean enchiladas and various vegan dishes. Chandler also offers a variety of gourmet coffees, herbal teas and fresh-squeezed juices.

In Kel’s Café, you’ll find futons, chairs, real kitchen tables, armchairs, small tables, sofas and a few more traditional booths. Chandler says the laid-back atmosphere is designed to relax her customers. “I want people to be as comfortable as possible,” she says. “I don’t want to have a fast-paced restaurant where people feel like they have to hurry and get out. I want them to feel like they’re at home.”

Chandler’s clients range from high school and college students to families and seniors, and she gets most of her business through word of mouth. “When customers enjoy the food and service at Kel’s Café, they share their experiences with others,” she says. “I depend on referrals, just as most chiropractors build their practices on referrals.”

Chandler hopes to open more Kel’s Cafés, possibly in Charleston, Columbia or Greenville, SC, and perhaps in Charlotte, NC.

- Kel’s Café is located at 1000 North Pine Street in Pinewood Shopping Center in Spartanburg, 864-583-1330. Hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - midnight; Saturday, 8 a.m. - midnight; and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you are in town for Lyceum, stop by for a bite and to meet a fellow Sherman College alum.

 


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