Marianne Staniunas has had a catering business for the last eight years, and to her, it was easy to team up with Michelle Mulford and create Uncommon Feast Café at 271 Western Ave. in the Lydia Pinkham Building.
While the café opened on May 6, Staniunas attributes her love of food to her Sicilian hertitage
“I learned from my aunts and my great aunts and grandparents, they had little backyard gardens and farms. Everything came from there and that’s how I learned to cook and then I immediately started working in restaurants,” Staniunas said.
The café and cooking area take up 2,100 square feet of space with a kitchen and casual dining space, with a rustic feel exemplifying the charm of the Lydia Pinkham Building.
Mulford met up with Staniunas while working for Formaggio Kitchen, a cheese importer and shop in Boston and Cambridge
The Uncommon Feast philosophy comes from sourcing food from New England organic farmers’ then making it into beautiful, delicious, very healthy, accessible food.
“That’s what the catering is all about and that’s what the café is about,” Mulford said.
Deciding to settle their business in Lynn was influenced by John Olinto the owner of One Mighty Mill on 68 Exchange St.
The café is the perfect place for lunch or to plan an event with a customized catering menu.
“The original idea was to have the café handle the over-flow from catering. Now it has evolved into a community space, we’re drawing more and more people who are walking to us,” Staniunas said.
To keep the community vibe going, on June 1, Uncommon Feast will hold a movie night, showing “Elevator to the Gallows,” while folks will make pizzas, and serve some wine and beer.
Hours of operation for the café are, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., breakfast, lunch and takeaway dinners with the eventual goal of opening for dinner. Most prep work for catering done on site and they can cater to 60-150. They just completed a four-day catering event with 350 people breakfast, lunch, dinner and a cocktail party. Uncommon Feasts also works with a pastry chef and a team of 20 for events.
“But our preference is, in order to do food the way we want it, which is to have everything handmade. – like the arugula pesto and pasta,” Mulford said.
“As with all our catering, our daily menus will grow from that. The menu changes seasonaly, sourcing everything from mostly New England farmers – Michelle has met a number of farmers from Maine, several of these farmers also source to other restaurants and farmers markets in the area,” Mulford said.
The Uncommon Feast will also offer fresh produce for purchase. They are also looking down the road at setting up CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program next year.
Tagine Chicken with apricot and saffron , fennel sausage platter, wild salmon, hand made pizzas, calzones, veggies, and salads are some of the recent offerings. For more info check out their sample menus at www.uncommonfeasts.com.