Angelina's owner putting catering, café under one roof
A Woodbury café is moving back to its roots.
Angelina's Café in the Eagle Valley Center is moving across the street to Angelina's Kitchen, the place where it all started.
Angela Verrastro had been running Angelina's Kitchen, a catering business in Woodbury, for five years before she decided to open the café across the street last year.
After about a year at the café, she said the staff was limited as to what they could do in the small kitchen.
By consolidating both businesses and moving everything into the original space to offer dine-in options, Verrastro said she'll be able to expand the menu and provide daily specials.
"We really had some space constraints over there as far as the kitchen goes," she said of the café.
Verrastro said she often sold out of ingredients and wasn't able to make as many items on the grill or the panini press as she would at Angelina's Kitchen.
The closing and moving of Angelina's Café will be done in phases.
The first phase was completed when Angelina's Kitchen re-opened Friday, July 6, after doing a bit of remodeling to accommodate the café equipment and move some of the seating into the catering business that will now become a restaurant.
The second phase will be to expand into a space next door that will give Angelina's Kitchen an additional 1,400 square feet, which will add about 75 seats. But for now, the place will have the current indoor and outdoor patio seating.
"This is what it is right now, at least for the next month," Verrastro said. "I want to make sure that people walk in and it feels like a neighborhood place - not a chain."
Some of the features of the café will stay the same, she added. WiFi will be available and the same staff will serve the popular breakfast menu in addition to pastas, salads and sandwiches.
By next spring, another phase of the expansion will add a wine bar and party room, something Woodbury residents are excited about, she said.
If only she could predict how fast she would grow out of the café, Verrastro said she would've done everything out of the catering business from the get-go.
"It would've been great if I had the foresight that we were going to grow out of the kitchen," she said. "But everything happens for a reason."
Angelina's Kitchen, which has been catering graduation parties, corporate events and weddings around the area, has a kitchen that is 10 times bigger than the café's, Verrastro said.
Most of the heavy-duty sauces, baked lasagnas and grilled meats were prepared at Angelina's Kitchen and sold at Angelina's Café. But eggs, pancakes, Paninis and salads were made at the coffee shop.
"I'm actually amazed at what we were able to accomplish over there," Verrastro said of the café.
Angelina's Kitchen will continue to cater and have take-out available. There will no longer be a drive-thru but staff will be able to bring orders out to customers' vehicles.
"When I weighed the pros and cons, I think we'll be able to offer much more here than we did over there," Verrastro said. "I knew if I wanted to continue to provide the high level of service, I had to move."