by Susan Ellis
Visitors will have something extra to look forward to when they visit Ballet Memphis’ new purpose-built headquarters scheduled to open this summer in Overton Square: Mama Gaia, a Memphis-based, fast-casual organic vegetarian restaurant, will operate the cafe inside.
This will be the second location in Memphis for Mama Gaia. Mama Gaia at Ballet Memphis will offer a select food menu each day (including breakfast items) as well as coffee drinks, wine and beer. The cafe is open to the general public.
“Part of my vision and mission for this new building always has been to provide creative and imaginative experiences for everyone in the community. By bringing more people to Ballet Memphis, we are providing not only the experience of our art form but also the opportunity to spend time together and to encourage exploration, whether it is watching the professional company rehearse, taking a child to ballet class, or attending one of our special creative events or movement classes,” Dorothy Gunther Pugh, CEO/Founding Artistic Director, said. “It was always an important part of this vision to have a food and beverage offering; to have the right partner was critical.
“Mama Gaia’s food is delicious, healthy and made with care and commitment; it’s the perfect complement to Ballet Memphis’ programs. It’s also the passion and dedication to the brand that drew us to them.”
Created and owned by Philipp and Cru Peri von Holtzendorff-Fehling, Mama Gaia opened its first location in the Crosstown Concourse in March 2017. The inspiration to launch Mama Gaia came after Cru was diagnosed with Lyme disease. After she self-prescribed changes to an all-organic and plant-based diet as part of her treatment, Cru noticed a remarkable difference in her health. The couple wanted to provide delicious fast-casual options for the marketplace.
“Partnering with Ballet Memphis to bring Mama Gaia to the new headquarters fit wonderfully with our mission,” Philipp said. “We have already seen tremendous success in Crosstown Concourse, so to open a second location where more community members can experience healthy and delicious food at an affordable price was an easy decision.”