Photography: Brad Lovell
Producer: Lindsay Garrett
Presentation: Teresa White
Location: Customs Cafe in Hoover Public Library
March is a month of renewal, and this month’s subject believes that food is the foundation of that. He believes in camaraderie and fellowship through nourishment and is proud to offer a unique twist to the casual dining experience. To him, the notion that we are what we eat goes beyond ingredients and incorporates the traditions and customs that are practiced while gathering with loved ones. His enthusiasm for culture and expertise in culinary arts allows him to bring a new understanding to the importance of how and why these praxes are observed.
He has owned and operated numerous cafes and coffee shops across the state for almost 20 years and was recruited by Hoover Public Library seven years ago to open what has become the Customs Cafe. Over the years he has been monumentally inspired by the assortment of visitors who visit the cafe daily. The restaurant brings an innovative dining experience to its patrons by offering a rotating calendar of authentic world cuisine and pairing it with unique presentations about the locale of origin. The eatery often partners with international exchange groups and local cultural groups to enhance and incorporate additional authenticity into its offerings.
Overall, his passion is people, which shows in his philanthropic community efforts, which include contributions to Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. He has spent time volunteering for Heart of Alabama Save. Rescue. Adopt. (HASRA), the Huntsville Tent City Project, and Dining with Friends for Thrive Alabama. He has acted as a featured guest chef at Advent Day School and regularly sponsors area school fundraisers.
He harbors a drive not only to create a specialized experience for his guests, but to also bring his community together on an entirely new level of fellowship. He has designed and implemented a remarkable new form of edible education, and this is why we have tagged Craig Stevenson-Casiday as Birmingfamous.