Good food — the kind you get at Garelick & Herbs — takes time to prepare.
It also takes time to design and build a new store.
Next month — a year after he expected — Jason Garelick moves his gourmet food/catering business into a much larger, more welcoming space. He and his business partner Paola’s new digs are just a couple of hundred yards from his current Post Road flagship spot.
For the owners and staff — and their many loyal customers — it will be well worth the wait.
The new place — on the Southport line, just past Wafu and Fetzer Tire — boasts 4850 square feet on the big, open, vaulted-ceiling 1st floor. And another 4850 for the kitchen and production areas downstairs.
The current Westport location — Garelick & Herbs’ original one — is just 3650 square feet.
Since opening in 1993, they’ve added stores in Greenwich, New Canaan and — 2 years ago — Saugatuck. They cater all of Westport Inn events, as well as the Mora Mora club in South Norwalk.
But they long ago outgrew their Westport space. “The key to longevity is to own your own building,” Jason says.
At last he saw land for rent on the Southport line: the old Double L Farm Stand. He made an offer to buy, not rent — and got ready to build.
Of course, in the food business — and in real estate — nothing is easy. Environmental issues delayed the project long past its sell-by date.
Finally, he’s ready to move. The opening is on or around August 15.
The bulk of the cooking — for all of Garelick & Herbs’ operations — will be done at the new location. One kitchen is as big as the current one in Westport; the 2nd is bigger.
Garelick & Herbs will move its baking from New Canaan to the new site. There will be an expanded bakery, full juice bar, larger salad bar, pizza oven, and a separate sandwich and panini station.
A stove and griddle next to the deli cases enables cooked-to-g0 orders, for breakfast and lunch.
There’s seating for 35 or 40 outside — separated from Post Road traffic by a soon-to-come garden and hedge. Handsome masonry by Gino Vona of Fairfield completes the look.
As proud as Jason is of all that, though, he’s equally excited by the downstairs that customers will never see. Enormous space for freezers, prep rooms and storage will allow Garelick & Herbs to provide services they’ve only dreamed of.
He designed it all, and — with Paola — was involved every step of the way.
Good food — and good new buildings — take time.
Garelick & Herbs’ time has finally come.