Gardner fled the stress of her South Florida law practice to open Krave last year.
“I was a lawyer doing trials,” she said. “It was very stressful and I started drinking kava to relax.”
Talking over a cup of kava, Gardner spoke about the caring community that she found once she started drinking. She eventually decided to return to North Carolina to share what she found.
According to Gardner’s business partner, Angie Francalancia, deciding to move back to the Triangle was easy.
“She knew the perfect place would be here, where she grew up,” Francalancia said.
When the Carrboro space was being renovated, Gardner involved as many members of the community as she could. A local scrap artist built the bar and friends supplied the hanging artwork.
“I tried to involve as many people as I knew,” Gardner said.
Customers of all ages came to Krave for the late afternoon anniversary event Saturday.
Conversation ranged from a customer's Bernie Sanders shirt to the bar’s outreach at a senior living center where patrons are matched with a senior to share hopes and experiences.
“Kava really does bring people together,” Gardner said.