By Elizabeth Riggs
Take just one glance at the Colden Market & Cafe menu and your mouth will inevitably begin to water. With specialty pizzas, homemade pot pies, hot subs and authentic Italian dishes, the newly-opened market has plenty to choose from.
Colden Market and Café, located at 8796 State Road, officially opened in July of 2016, at the site of the former Harmony Market. For co-owners and couple, Joe Caldarelli and Julie Fronckowiak, opening the market was a combined dream.
“I always loved to cook, and she always wanted a country store. When this place became available, we thought we ought to look into it,” said Caldarelli. “We bought a house out in Boston three years ago, and we just loved the area.”
After purchasing the building, the couple transformed the market from the inside out. Upgrades included the infamous bright blue exterior, and numerous interior changes, like tables for dining, a coffee bar, a large television, free Wi-Fi, stocked shelves and freezers with foods and convenience items, and a large window in the back for ordering food.
“Inside and outside, every square inch of this building has been redone,” said Caldarelli. “We still wanted to keep the warm, homey feel, but we did put new shelving in, and laid it out a little more open. We kept the floors. We really want it to be a true country atmosphere, but feel good. We want it to be a venue for the town.”
It seems the market has quickly become a cornerstone for locals, and they have no lack of food options to choose from. The café menu includes American comfort foods that most people love, like baked and cold cut subs, salads, homemade soups and sides. But, it also excels at offering items you won’t find at any ordinary restaurant, like a top-selling breakfast pizza, topped with scrambled eggs, hash browns, ham, sausage, bacon, peppers, onions and cheese.
“Our breakfast pizza has caught on now. It’s kind of like a western omelet on a pizza slice,” said Caldarelli. “It’s my recipe. I think this one is over the top.”
Other menu standouts include steak in the grass pizza, a pie topped with ribeye steak, spinach, oil garlic, peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheeses. Even more unique options include meatloaf, pasta and meatballs, Friday fish fry with Icelandic Haddock, and customer favorite, homemade pot pies with your choice of chicken, mac n cheeseburger or seafood in 1- or 2-pound sizes.
“We’re trying to be a little unique,” said Caldarelli. “We really enjoy our off-the-beaten-path items.”
And while the food is certainly worth the beaten path drive to Colden, if locals aren’t able to make the trip, the market also offers a delivery service.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but we deliver beer, cigarettes, food, anything,” said Caldarelli. “It’s got to be an adult, but Julie and I can legally deliver beer. We haven’t really said ‘no’ to anybody yet. As long as we have someone here that can take the stuff, or if it’s a big enough order.”
In addition to giving local customers the option for delivery, the market is also offering another service: catering.
“This is really like two, almost three, businesses,” said Caldarelli. “You have a pizzeria, and you have a grocery store that has a lot of convenience food, and we’re really just getting into the catering.”
According to Caldarelli, the market has the capability of offering any type of catering menu. Most recently, it has done hot drop offs for parties and showers, pizza trays for local businesses, and more.
“Just tell us what you want. We can cook. If you can think it up, I can make it. We’re always willing to try stuff,” said Caldarelli. “There’s nothing we can’t do.”
And as the market continues to try new things, according to Caldarelli, it’s the community who has made all of the hard work pay off.
“The community has embraced us so nicely. They’re so kind and they’re so happy and that’s what keeps us going after a long day,” said Caldarelli. “To have someone come in after a long day and say they’re glad we’re here in the community… it feels good to offer our services to people who appreciate it.”
For more information about the Colden Market & Café, visit their website: www.coldenmarket.com or find them on Facebook at @coldenmarketandcafe.