Jemme Stewart & Hilda White


Jemme (right of photo): I was teaching yoga at City Yoga in Five Points; Hilda came to one of my classes, and over a period of time just chatting before and after class, we realized we had a common passion about mindfulness practices. That led to lots of lunches at The Gourmet Shop, and that’s where Upstream was first developed.

Hilda (left of photo): The Gourmet Shop was our think tank. At Upstream, we teach different types of meditation techniques to help people manage themselves and their own inner resources. We guide them to find strengths and capacities within themselves they may never have known were there.

Every phase of my life happened in Five Points.

We get to practice these skills that we really believe in, that have helped us in our own lives so much. We can go into class tired and come out lit up, because we love it so much. We love that we’re able to bring tools into this community that help people deal with stress.

  • The heart of it

    Jemme: I always wanted to have my office in Five Points. I had an office on Devine Street, only two blocks from Harden, for 10 years, but I wanted to be in Five Points; in the heart of it. This was the perfect place for Upstream to land. There’re some cool things to do down here.

    Hilda: Five Points is unique because it’s got the qualities of being locally owned – that’s really big for me – and eclectic. It’s pedestrian friendly, and that’s huge for visiting fellow businesses.

    Jemme: Ditto on the locally owned; that very much appeals to me. And I like that there’s a strong college contingent to Five Points. I like having that young, sometimes wild energy down there. Then there’s the professional group; people who work in the downtown area, and then people who hang out on the weekends, just strolling around. There’s a nice mixture of different kinds of people – I’ve always enjoyed that about Five Points.

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  • I love that place

    Jemme: I have a lot of memories of Five Points from when I was a kid. There was a movie theater down here, and we used to walk down and go to movies. There was a Zesto’s on the corner where the cellular store is now, by Blossom and Harden. I went to Hand and Dreher, and we’d walk down there after school and hang out.

    When I got old enough to go on dates, I remember having dates down here. Every phase of my life happened in Five Points. My husband and I lived on Blossom Street. Five Points has been a huge part of our lives. My daughter’s first job was at The Gourmet Shop; (owners) Linda and Dennis taught her how to be responsible. I have so many memories down here.

    Hilda: I remember, when I was in training in Augusta, driving over to Columbia with friends and going to Five Points because of The Gourmet Shop. This was sort of like a destination from Augusta, to get out of town.

    Jemme: Remember the Joyful Alternative? We hung out there. I lived in that bookstore.

    Hilda: The park is beautiful. The people who take Upstream’s retreat day always have lovely things to say about being in that park, and most were not previously aware of it. And the back room going into Drip, how it winds back to the record area – I love that.

    Jemme: I love that place. I love the Blue Cactus restaurant. I forget to go there sometimes, then I’ll go there 20 times in a row. It’s really a sweet place.

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  • Supportive neighbors

    Hilda: Remember when we first opened Upstream and we got the rack cards – remember the kindness of Linda and Dennis (of the Gourmet Shop), how they took those rack cards and put them under every table; in every bag? They couldn’t have been more supportive of us.

    Jemme: And we’re very connected to City Yoga. We have a very friendly relationship with the frame shop, Pulliam Morris. In this little cul-de-sac, there’s friendliness, and the sharing of parking spaces works pretty well. We have a lot of fun.

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