Healthier options on menu at café kitchen’s gas station takeout
More than two years after launching a successful food business in Bermuda, Toney Edmonds is finally getting to meet his customers.
Mr Edmonds and his wife, Vikki, run Simple Ltd, which has taken over the takeout food concession at the Rubis Warwick gas station on South Road.
The move comes about 30 months after their business launched with a simple concept: “local, healthy, unprocessed food”.
Offering only baked goods initially, it developed into an online café kitchen offering a variety of pastries and snack options as well as catering, lunch and dinner service, and meal planning and preparation. The business also became known for serving people with restricted diets.
Mr Edmonds said the online side of the business is on hiatus while he and his three staff concentrate on the start-up in Warwick.
Two weeks after launch, Mr Edmonds is serving customers directly instead of working from a commercial kitchen.
He said: “Before, we got e-mails from people who asked if they could drop by and pick up things, and we had to tell them we were not set up that way. It is quite refreshing to get to actually talk to people. I can ask people what they want – and we will try to make what they are looking for.”
Mr Edmonds said a customer who knew about the outfit’s vegan and vegetarian options expressed surprise when she saw cheddar bacon scones on offer in Warwick.
He added: “We actually have a store now, so we can put out more of our wares and people can get to know the other sides of us.”
The café is open from 6.30am until 9pm daily, offering breakfast, lunch and early dinner service.
Breakfast items include baked goods, all made from scratch, plus yoghurt, granola, hot sandwiches, oatmeal cakes plus “the meats and sides you expect at breakfast”, Mr Edmonds said.
Lunch offerings include meat loaf, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, roast vegetables, wild rice and a selection of deli sandwiches, including some on breads made by Crow Lane Bakery that are being offered exclusively at the Warwick outlet.
Dinner items include quiche and a buffet featuring meat loaf, buttermilk fried chicken, bbq chicken, roasted eggplant, squash, and wild rice. Future menu items are to include lasagne, a daily pasta, and rotisserie chicken, Mr Edmonds said.
Dessert items to date have included lemon bars, and lemon blueberry whoopie pie.
Additional items will be added to the Warwick menu as the operation grows, Mr Edmonds said.
Everything will continue to be made in-house in small batches with healthy, locally-available products, said Mr Edmonds, adding that the café will also offer a variety of foods for people on restricted diets.
Mr Edmonds said of the new locale: “It’s just an evolution for us. Before we went online, we wanted a physical location but the real estate market in Bermuda is tough. There are very few commercial buildings with a kitchen that are available in town.”
Ms Edmonds, who works in the re/insurance sector and assists with the family business in the evenings and on weekends, added: “Our options were limited, and were not cost effective. Starting in 2016, we looked for two years, but couldn’t find space that fit our needs, so we went online and built the business there.”
Michael and Teddy Terceira are the operators of the gas station.
Michael said they began to look for a new operator for the food concession when the previous concessionaire informed them that they wished to close.
Teddy added: “My wife, Simona, mentioned them to me after she had seen a lot of positive reviews online. We then ordered their lasagne and quiche for a family dinner – lasagne being an all-time favourite of mine.
“The food was excellent so I reached out to them to meet and chat about the Warwick location, thinking they might be interested in the opportunity to expand. Toney thought it was a great location for Simple and now here we are.”
Michael added: “Toney and Vikki were thankfully willing to make the leap from their online business to a bricks and mortar operation and the timing seemed to be ideal for everyone. The Simple and Terceira’s brands are a natural fit and we look forward to featuring their unique and high-quality offerings.
“We believe Simple’s emphasis on fresh, local ingredients, their options for those with dietary restrictions, and their Bermudian team will be a unique and winning combination.”
See www.simplebda.com, or the business’ Facebook page.