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VCIL Honors Down Home Kitchen

September 13, 2016

The Vermont Center for Independent Living will recognize a Montpelier restaurant on Sept. 14 for its commitment to accessibility. Down Home Kitchen owner Mary Alice Proffitt will receive the Rosemary J. Miller Dining for All Award.

The award is named for VCIL’s longtime receptionist, who retired in 2011. Miller, who was born with cerebral palsy, has never let her disability slow her down. She can often be seen out and about in central Vermont, whether she is eating out, shopping or advocating for disability rights.

VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville said, “With this award we honor Rosemary Miller, who was on the front lines of VCIL for over 30 years, and her love of our community and good food. When Mary Alice came to town, she put her heart and soul into making sure this restaurant is accessible to all. She could easily have decided to ask for a variance or abatement from the state citing the difficulty of the space, but her character and values shined through when she made the modifications. She took a space that had never been accessible to someone with a physical disability and offered opportunity. We are honored to give her this award.”

Down Home Kitchen opened in the fall of 2015 in Montpelier’s historic downtown (at 100 Main St.). It is a community-minded restaurant serving real Southern soul food.

In addition to the delicious homestyle cooking and baking, there are many wonderful things about Down Home Kitchen, including the fact that the bathroom and entrance are accessible, its friendly and warm atmosphere and the thoughtful staff who will accommodate by reading the menu for customers who are blind.

Launderville also noted, “The community table is wonderful for making connections to others.”

It is no wonder that Rosie Miller can often be seen grabbing a meal at Down Home Kitchen.

The Rosemary J. Miller Dining for All Award is given out annually, and more nominations will be solicited next year.