The colorful walls at Caboose Café & Bakery are just the right place for Edith Graciela Sanabria and her mother, Chela Graciela, to hang their paintings. The two artists worked with the prior owner, and when Rhoda Worku opened the café, she agreed to let the women continue displaying their artwork.
“Customers enjoy having the paintings here,” Worku said. “We get a lot of compliments, and they sell very well. It’s a nice combination. Just the other day, I saw a man drinking coffee and reading the poetry.”
Sanabria said that they sell at least a few paintings a month and is pleased with her relationship with Worku. For her part, Worku likes the fact that Sanabria changes the exhibit frequently. Sanabria said that they change it every month. This month is the first time that she displayed poetry along with the artwork.
SANABRIA HAS MANY TALENTS and published her first poetry book, “The Latin American Soul,” in 1997; her poems have been printed in books in the United States and translated and published in Brazil, England and India. She also asked Worku to start hosting poetry readings the last Saturday of the month. The first one will be held on Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. A group of poets will gather to do readings.
Worku, who took over the restaurant in May, said that she has added several things to the menu, including pastries and muffins. She is now serving omelets for breakfast and installed an espresso machine. Worku has also extended the café’s hours.
“It’s very popular on weekends,” Worku said. “In nice weather we have tables and chairs for people to sit outside.”
WORKU GAINED HER EXPERIENCE working at Bread and Chocolate. Her sister, Meski Kifle, is co-owner, and her sons, Abel Gachou and Worku Gachou, students at St. Stephen’s-St. Agnes, come in to help out.
The sisters have applied for a special permit for beer and wine and are planning to introduce a light dinner menu. She has been asked to introduce some Ethiopian dishes and said that they are taking all suggestions.
Sanabria said that her mother encouraged her to paint and is glad that her mother is back from Bolivia. Graciela had returned to her home country when she became sick, but she returned to the states last May.
“We work well together,” said Sanabria, who lives with her mother in the Huntington area. They have a gallery in their home, and Sanabria displays her artwork in local galleries, including Empowered Women International Inc. (EWI), located at 1212 Prince St. Sanabria has other talents. She designs jewelry, also displayed at EWI as well as at Mount Vernon Antiques. She is illustrating children’s books and is hoping to find an agent.