Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Therapyst: Jason Stone

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:33 AM

therapy.jpg

Jason Stone is a tall, lanky, home-grown Charlottean and the owner of Therapy Café in the heart of Uptown. It’s his organic farm, though, that is his therapy, not to mention a great asset to his café. After the café’s recent renovation, Therapy is now a full-fledged restaurant, as well as café and the home of the famous half-price martini Wednesdays. The produce from his farm supplies the restaurant with most of its fresh fruits and vegetables. As if this isn’t enough, he also runs seven produce stands at various markets.

Decorated in cool blues and greens, Therapy has a quirky, friendly atmosphere. I sit at the bar and Stone perches himself on the stool next to mine, his alert blue eyes take in everything that goes on around us as we talk. With his knowledge of gardening and locally grown foods, he is committed to providing a relaxing and reenergizing experience to his guests, be it for coffee at 7 a.m., a double “I Need It” (their signature martini) at 2 a.m., or any of the freshly prepared meals they offer in between.

Creative Loafing: Have you always been a gardener?

Jason Stone: My dad was a gardener, but never on a big scale. He died two years ago and has been a big inspiration to me. Gardening is my therapy. When I’m in my garden, I’m not worrying about bills and stress and the market.

Therapy is a unique name for a restaurant, where did it come from?

My business partner Tim Lowe just sort of came up with it years ago. The concept is to create an environment where people can leave their issues at the door, get a great value for their money, and make them happy when they come in and when they leave. That’s why we really concentrate on friendly, helpful service when we train our staff.

Did you ever think you would get into the restaurant business?

No. Absolutely not. Not in a million years. I double majored in English and Philosophy at UNCC. The original plan was to open a coffee shop. We did that and it has evolved in the last 10 years into a full scale restaurant serving locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Therapy is located at 410 N. Tryon St. 704-333-1353

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