Robert Roskind says he hopes weekly events at Oasis, 200 N. Greensboro Street, a counter-culture coffee shop in Carr Mill Mall, will teach altruism, give people a voice and bring the community together.
Roskind, owner of Oasis, located inside Carr Mill Mall, had the vision 44 years ago to make a counterculture coffee shop, but it did not originally come to fruition. He wanted to rewrite that chapter of his life, so he created Oasis in May 2013.
“I have to admit that my vision has manifested pretty close to what I thought it would be like,” he said.
Oasis is now the counterculture coffee shop he envisioned that serves coffee, tea, food and wisdom.
Oasis’ weekday workshops and presentations are about holistic material and give people in the community a chance to spread their knowledge. On the weekends, Oasis offers “movies that matter” and live music. All of the events at Oasis promote goodwill and are free to attend.
“The new generation is lost. They don’t want to buy into the old way but also don’t understand their way,” Roskind said.
He says he hopes having these workshops will help the younger generation, which makes up about half of the weekly events’ attendance, find their way.
According to Roskind, the weekly workshops and events try to answer questions such as “How do people create a relationship that makes you happy?” and “How do you find a spiritual path that feels right in your head and heart?” Carrboro residents teach many of these workshops.
“There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge in Carrboro, and I give them a voice,” Roskind said.
“Robert has this gift of bringing the community together,” said Tania Meek, a regular customer at Oasis.
When asked why she attends the weekly events, Meek said, “First of all, they are educational. Secondly, they teach of peace, one love, respect, understanding and community.”
Some upcoming events in March at Oasis include “Poetry and Creative Play: Writing as an Expressive Coping Strategy” on March 11 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and “Thriving in Modern Times” on March 12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Setting the mood
Roskind designed the shop in a way to avoid company logos, distractions and eyesores. He wanted to make commercialism secondary in the shop so visitors could focus on the more subtle messages.
“Everywhere you look in the store is pleasing,” said Roskind.
The only thing that has surprised him about owning Oasis and doing the weekly events is how much satisfaction he gets from owning the business.
Roskind’s goal for Oasis is to provide a getaway space from the insanity and franticness of today’s culture. The weekly events are instrumental in this, he said, as they teach altruism and community to the residents of Carrboro.
“We are all here on Earth to learn and teach love,” Roskind said.
Roskind believes that these events have become a big part of the Carrboro community and he hopes they will continue to grow, both in material and attendance. “It has succeeded in its goal to become an Oasis,” Roskind said.
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