Kerry O’Neil and Jim Smith have had many exceptional experiences since their younger years in Providence and Boston, respectively.
Now, O’Neil, who is 79-years young and an avid Providence College basketball fan, and Smith, 90, who follows golf, now live under the same roof at 54 Old Pocasset Road in Johnston.
They are also members of a unique and new group — a.k.a. The Preserve Founder’s Club — that last week held an impressive induction ceremony/brunch inside the posh dining room of a 66-unit facility that’s part of Akshay Talwar’s ever-expanding Briarcliffe Campus and provides active independent and assisted living amid a wooded setting in Johnston.
“This is like living in a five-star hotel,” exclaimed Smith, whose career included working in the manufacturing industry. “The food here is unbelievable; there’s something different every day!”
O’Neil, who once lived on Providence’s famed East Side and was Director of the Division of Substance Abuse at the Rhode Island MHRH, added: “If you need to be in a facility like this, this is absolutely THE BEST place to be.”
Meanwhile members of The Preserve Founder’s concurred: “This is luxury living at its all-time best.”
Perhaps one reason is that Talwar’s philosophy at The Preserve at Briarcliffe which last week celebrated its first anniversary, has always been as he told members of The Founder’s Club is about “having fun with caring and compassion.”
All of which was obvious during The Founder’s Club Brunch that was held amid decorations of gold and silver balloon bouquets and settings of white linen tablecloths and napkins, special shiny dishware and sparkling silverware.
Moreover, there was a special non-alcoholic drink in a champagne glass and each table-top featured a decorative gift bag that contained a special coffee mug with embossed lettering for each member of The Preserve Founder’s Club.
Likewise, the service was superb thanks to the exceptional efforts of Julie Thibodeau, Carolyn Lounsberry, Jordan Nephew, Matt Olsen, Alex Tolias and Matt Olsen.
The day’s superstars, as Talwar and Briarcliffe’s dynamic and innovative Marketing Director Stefany Reed will attest, were The Preserve Chefs Matt Giuseffi and Joe Belanger as well as Lounsberry, who doubles as chef and Food Service Director.
For example, The Preserve’s First Anniversary Brunch had an impressively printed menu featuring three entrees, a breakfast menu with the same number of offerings and a note reading “Assorted Artisan Pastries and Fresh Fruit Salad.”
“Look at this,” O’Neil suggested while tasting the Italian Eggs Benedict with red bliss home fries and parmesan crusted asparagus. “I was also thinking about the Seared Alaskan Salmon with a roasted potato medley lemon garlic green beans. The rosemary turkey tips served with rice pilaf and choice of vegetable was tempting, too.”
Smith had difficulty choosing from the breakfast menu that offered Belgian Waffles topped with fresh whip cream and berries, Vegetable Egg Scrambler with a choice of bacon or sausage and toasted breads and baked stuffed French toast casserole.
The brunch also featured freshly brewed coffee, cold non-alcoholic beverages a special toast by Talwar followed by the unveiling of a beautiful plaque that featured a gold plate with the individual name of every member of The Preserve Founder’s Club.