The bright orange sign always piques my interest. Every time I drive down East Pearl Street I think, what is Cravings? Is it a cafe? Then why is there so much home decor for sale in the window? I couldn’t find an active Facebook page or many reviews online. So this week, I finally went inside.
Where: Cravings Cafe and Gift Shop, 64 East Pearl Street, Nashua, NH 03060
Hours: 8am – 4pm
You might remember from previous posts like this one, I’m crazy about cafes, especially the ones downtown. Cravings is no exception, although it’s a totally different kind of cafe. If Bonhoeffer’s is a cozy, fireplace kind of spot, and Riverwalk is a hip, poetic place, then Cravings is a cheery cafe filled with unique jewelry, kitschy clocks and unique wall art.
So to answer my initial question, Cravings is both a cafe and gift shop. They have a full menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. But while you’re sipping on your coffee or eating at one of the tables you can also survey the items for sale that line the store.
The originality of Cravings extends beyond combining food and commerce and to their business model of training and employing individuals with disabilities. The food you order is prepared by a chef who also directs the food service training of people with brain injuries, mental health issues, developmental disabilities and those on the autism spectrum. Many of the unique items for sale in the store are also crafted under staffed artisans.
Like many buildings downtown, Cravings has that beautiful old, ornate tin ceiling. But the space does have a few drawbacks, one being that its easy to hear the employees in the back. Also, the stairs for employees to go downstairs is in the front of the store, so there was a lot of walking back and forth.
My egg salad was pretty good, not ah-mazing, but it was a great deal and came with a delicious pickle and chips.
This is the perfect setting to meet some friends for lunch and shopping, or a quiet spot to have a coffee and pick out unique handmade crafts. One visit to this cool space will have you craving more.