With the perfect weather for a party, Blue Zones Project-Umpqua celebrated Bluebird Pizza as the first restaurant in the Umpqua Valley to complete the Restaurant Pledge, part of a community-wide effort for greater well-being in the places where we spend our time.
Mobbed with community members in blue t-shirts, Bluebird Pizza owners, Ric and Tami Webb, saw the fruits of their labor at the ribbon cutting ceremony that took place on the evening of May 24.
When asked how it went, they responded, "Holy cow! It was so awesome to see everyone here. As soon as Blue Zones Project posted that this was going to happen, the calls started coming in. A lot of people that didn't know who we were before, came out to support us and are grateful that there are some healthy options."
Over the last few months, Ric and Tami have selected items from a menu of best practices designed to nudge patrons toward healthy options, and integrated them in to their restaurant.
"I see Blue Zones Project working. The support has made it work. I think it's the smart thing to do and that our success will demonstrate this to other restaurants that will then want to get involved" said Ric Web, "I would recommend this in a breath."
Among many of the changes made, the Webb's added a healthy kids section and more plant-based items to the menu, implemented some practices to lower sodium, put a cap on how much sugar is served to children and added more locally-sourced and fresh ingredients.
Organization lead for Blue Zones Project-Umpqua, John Dimof, supported them through this process.
"Ric and Tami have really taken a leadership role in the community. They've worked hard to make simple and small tweaks within Bluebird that will make healthy choices easier for people that come here to eat. They're also courageous in that they're not afraid to share what they've learned with other business owners. As co-chairs for the Blue Zones Project Restaurant Committee, they are always eager to exchange ideas with other restaurant owners and encourage them to try new things."
Bluebird Pizza is one of many restaurants in the community that has registered to go through the process of becoming Blue Zones Project approved. Over the next few years, more restaurants and other businesses and organizations will begin to complete the process of integrating more well-being best practices into their respective programs.
Blue Zones Project anticipates that, with enough support from the places where we spend the most time, community members will start to see a shift toward greater well-being and notice that it's easier for everyone to make healthy choices.
To learn more about the community-wide wellbeing initiative, check out the Facebook and Instagram pages, Blue Zones Project-Umpqua, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juliete Paneshus For The News-Review May 30, 2018
This is truly a hidden gem. We came in from Eugene as a party of 10 to visit the Umpqua Lights, and picked this place based on reviews. It did not disappoint! At first, we almost missed the restaurant because it is behind a convenience store in a residential area, and I must admit, I was a little worried that they wouldn't be able to accommodate our large party, but the staff was so warm and friendly! They welcomed us in, and were so kind and attentive. And then the pizza- delicious!! They have the standard fare, but their unique pizza creations are amazing- the tandoori chicken pizza is out of this world! The kids gobbled up their hawaiian and pepperoni pizzas too, and we loved their spicy pepperoni and BBQ chicken pizza as well! Salads were fresh and just the right size. This is a fantastic, locally owned business that you shouldn't miss! We will definitely be back!!
Sarah b. Eugene