PieLab: Doing Good in Rural Alabama
I've taken a lot of photos of my food while traveling, & I've saved my favorite Catch! Delicious entry for last!
I'm so proud to say that I only have to travel about an hour to enjoy this highlight, proving that the best places sometimes aren't too far from home. Deep in rural Alabama, PieLab sits on Main Street in the small town of Greensboro. A joint effort of local non-profit Hale Empowerment & Revitalization and a design collection called Project M, their idea is simple yet revolutionary. As they state, "Pie + Ideas = Conversation. Conversation + Design = Social Change." See, Greensboro sits in the heart of the Black Belt, home to some of the poorest counties in the United States. The day I was there, I met the manager, a Hurricane Katrina transplant. I talked to a few guys on work release from a prison nearby who were there for their lunch break. I laughed with the employees who hadn't yet had a stable job now found a career path learning how to bake in PieLab's kitchen. Outside, there is a community garden open to anyone who needs some fresh produce to help put dinner on the table. On the weekends there are art exhibits, folk concerts, & recipe bake-offs. This area of my home state that was once all but written off is now a viable part of the region's economy and PieLab is an integral part of their community.
Come for the sweet and savory pies, a cup of fair-trade coffee, & the best sweet tea around, but stay for the conversation + community!