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"Eataly or Bust"
Submitted by: Compassus

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"Eataly or Bust"

Hallie Cowart, 67, of Coal Valley, Ill. takes a lot of pride in cooking and feeding her loved ones.  She can usually be found in the kitchen whipping up something delicious.

For Hallie cooking is not just a hobby. It’s a way of life. She previously managed several bakeries and even owned her own barbecue sauce company, called Grandma Buddy’s. The sauces were even sold at several local grocery stores. 

Knowing Hallie’s passion for the culinary arts, Hospice Compassus – Moline Director of Clinical Services Jody Huston shared the details of her weekend trip to Eataly in Chicago, which is world-renowned chef Mario Batalli’s Italian grocery superstore and restaurant primarily focused on providing the highest quality Italian food and products. The food emporium features a Nutella bar, a pizzeria, a mozzarella "lab," a brewpub, a gelateria, two cafes, plus all the meat, cheese, bread, olive oil and wine one's heart could possibly desire.

When Hallie said, “That sounds delicious, but I’ll never get to go to go there.”  Jody’s response was, “Why not?”

Jody shared this conversation with me, and we began to work out the logistics to make this trip a reality.  We contacted Eataly regarding our special request to create a special day for Hallie, and Emily Ripp, Director of Education and Events, at Eataly was more than eager to assist. Eataly agreed to accommodate our schedule and take us on the tour at no charge!

We let Hallie in on the plan, and she was more than ready to drive head-first into this culinary adventure.  Her friend, Melissa Meier, agreed to accompany Hallie, and we all took the train Chicago where we were greeted by Emily when we got to Eataly. 

Touring the elaborate two-story building, learning about the quality ingredients and products from all over the world, and tasting some of them along the way were unique experiences that Hallie could cherish.  We also presented her with a gift certificate to purchase something special to bring a piece of the experience back home with her. 

Through happy tears, Hallie remarked, “I didn’t know you would all be so wonderful.” 

Giving Hallie an experience she didn’t think could happen is what hospice is all about, making end-of-life goals and dreams a reality.  Seeing her smile was an experience that we will never forget.

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