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|Urban Cannibals allows people to ‘feed off’ each other’s energy|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|February 04, 2011 00:00|
Owned and operated by wife-and-wife team Calavino Donati and Doria Roberts, Urban Cannibals Bodega & Bites opened on Dec. 1, 2009, and continues to feed the masses seeking something off the beaten path.
“Urban Cannibals was originally the name of a sandwich shop Calavino owned in 2000. We revived the name, added ‘Bodega & Bites’ so people knew what we were, and created the concept of the store around the idea of urban pioneers ‘feeding off’ each other’s energy through exchange of ideas, goods and services all while being responsible stewards of themselves, their communities and the planet (in that order),” says Roberts, who is also a critically acclaimed local musician and artist.
As a bodega, which means small grocery store, Urban Cannibals also has a small deli, run by Donati, and a bakery, operated by Roberts. The store is set to appear on the Food Network next month on the show “Meat & Potatoes, Hosted by Rahm Fama,” featuring Donati’s renowned Urban Reuben.
Operating a business as a wife-wife team poses challenges but is also amazing, they say.
“Amazing because we are polar opposites in a lot of ways — vegetarian and not vegetarian is one small difference,” they say.
The two are workaholics and that keeps things moving energetically. The duo is always planning and preparing “what’s next.”
But the greatest challenge is finding time for just the two of them — that does not involve working every day, all day.
“We’re together at the store 14 hours a day, six days a week with the seventh day left for errands, which does not constitute togetherness as some people have suggested,” they say.
Roberts is working on her seventh CD as well as baking at the store and doing the marketing. When Roberts recently toured France for three weeks, Donati came along.
“We regained some much needed perspective and cut back our hours the second we landed home,” they say. “It’s made a huge difference in how we plan our days and free time — meaning we actually go to the movies from time to time now.”
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