Hospital café, healing garden provide solace for the mind and body

When the Mindful Café opened last year to replace the outdated cafeteria at Sharp Coronado Hospital in San Diego, the healthcare facility suddenly had a dramatic new space to promote its wellness mission. Not only does the café adhere to the menu principles incorporated in dining services provider Sodexo Healthcare Services's Mindful wellness platform, but the eatery is also part of a larger space that includes an outdoor healing garden with "living garden" walls and a fountain.

The facility’s acute-care wing serves a daily in-patient census of around 25. It also has a long-term care section with 86 residents, all of them served by the Sodexo-managed hospital kitchen that adheres to Mindful principles in its menu. The retail café serves an average of 150 customers daily for breakfast and lunch. It generally closes around 6 p.m., but a micromarket extension provides round-the-clock food options for evening and overnight staff.

The facility’s garden hosts monthly pop-up Green Grocer farmers' markets where Executive Chef Kai Peyrefitte demonstrates healthy cooking tips and promotes the use of fresh, organic products, including probiotics like yogurts, pates and fermented foods as part of Sodexo's Nourish initiative, which emphasizes foods that strengthen the human body’s biochemical processes to promote health and healing. Some of these foods are also produced in the hospital kitchen using organic ingredients from the hospital's own garden and packaged for sale at the farmers’ market.

All photos courtesy of Sodexo Healthcare

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