Tag Archives: Manna Toast

COVID Roundup: Reopening; Friday Flowers; Ford Escort; Donut Crazy; More

As Westport reopens, it may be hard to figure out who’s in charge of what. First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

The Westport Weston Health District licenses restaurants and the beauty industry. So the WWHD leads compliance of those state rules.

Fire Marshal Nathaniel Gibbons will lead enforcement efforts for all non-WWHD regulated industries. Efforts include conducting spot checks, referrals and coordination with the WWHD and Police Department.

The police are responsible for tracking all complaints. They’ll investigate to ensure compliance, and work with business owners to correct infractions.

The Police Department requests that reports of non-compliance or complaints about business operations should be made by phone to the non-emergency number: 203-341-6000. For complaints made to the state, call 211.

If you see penguins not following proper protocols, call the police non-emergency number.  (Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

As life — and human beings — come back to Main Street, the Westport Garden Club is making sure everything looks lovely.

Yesterday they planted flowers downtown. The project is part of “Friday Flowers,” the club’s campaign to brighten spirits with colorful flowers. Four beds on both sides of Main Street will be maintained throughout the summer and fall.

From left: Kathy Oberman Tracy, Kelle Ruden and Kara Wong. (Photo: Topsy Siderowf)

Of all the COVID-caused changes in Westport, none is starker than the scene at the Saugatuck train station. Almost instantly, what had always been better-get-there-early-for-a-spot lots turned into ghost towns. All those coveted parking permits? They’re gathering dust, as thousands of commuters work from home.

But — if you’re one of the few people who has been there knows — there is one lonely car. A Ford Escort has been there since mid-March. It sure is practicing social distance.

Does anyone know the back story? If so, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)

Meanwhile, a few yards east, Donut Crazy opened. Commuter traffic is not yet back (duh). But Juliana and Anna (below) look like they never left. Except for the masks…

(Photo/John Karrel)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the debut of Manna Toast. Molly Healey is opening a cafe in Bedford Square in mid-July. She’s great, and it will be wonderful.

In the meantime, beginning next Tuesday (May 26) she’s delivering family-style kits that serve 4. They include ready-to-toast sourdough bread with a choice of 2 toasts (meatless meatballs, hummus, burrata or roasted squash); 1 salad (kale with tahini miso or local greens), 1 soup (creamy carrot or 3-bean chili), and 1 tea. Everyone gets 4 chocolate chip cookies.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. It’s fantastic — flavorful, creative, fresh; something new and welcome in the midst of so much COVID sameness. But don’t take my words for it. Check it out here:

It doesn’t feel like it, but this is a holiday weekend. We’ll miss the Memorial Day parade. The weather is a bit iffy.

But Compo Beach will be open. Not at full capacity, yet. There are no picnic tables or grills. Port-a-potties only, too.

Still, the scene today was like any other start-of-summer, late May day.

If only.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

And finally … there might be a more beautiful way to end the week. But I don’t know what it is.

Manna Toast Pops Up In Bedford Square

As restaurants, caterers and other food service personnel fight to survive in the pandemic, who would even think of opening a new culinary business now?

Molly Healey would.

The Weston High School and Johnson & Wales graduate has a great background. She worked at Blue Hill, then did “cool, high-capacity catering” in the Bay Area for companies like Facebook and Salesforce.

Molly’s met her husband, Charles Gilhuly, through Walrus + Carpenter. They started a catering firm, Grateful Food Company. When their daughter was born she stayed home, and did private chef work. He’s run The Cottage and OKO for Brian Lewis.

Molly Healey

Longtime clients Howard and Stacy Bass, and David and Yvette Waldman, loved Molly’s cooking. They brainstormed ideas for expansion, and came up with … a commissary kitchen.

It’s a great way, she says, to be “part of the community, and the local food scene.” The kitchen can be a place to offer cooking classes and run catering programs. Other groups can use the space too.

She found space behind Cycle Dynamics (across the Post Road from the drive-through Starbucks). The first delivery service — served by the kitchen — begins next week from Bedford Square. It’s called Manna Toast.

Molly had not planned to serve food until mid-summer. Strangely, now is a good time. “People are wary of restaurants,” she says. “But they’re used to delivery.”

The restaurant industry has been “slammed,” she notes. “Fortunately, we don’t have lots of employees that we had to let go. We’re starting fresh.”

She begins next Tuesday (May 26), delivering family-style kits that serve 4. They include ready-to-toast sourdough bread with a choice of 2 toasts (meatless meatballs, hummus, burrata or roasted squash); 1 salad (kale with tahini miso or local greens), and 1 soup (creamy carrot or 3-bean chili), and 1 tea. Everyone gets 4 chocolate chip cookies.

More items will be added later. The cafe itself will be open in mid-July.

“I’m excited,” Molly says. “It’s weird to open in trying times. But it’s fun and exciting to get new food out there.”

Her website says, “Molly is a foodie — not an amuse-bouche foodie, but one who loves actual food: vegetables grown in fresh dirt, fruits harvested from local farms, and artisanal breads baked in Connecticut ovens. Molly is also a conscious citizen of the world, who takes great pride in making mindful meals for her own family, and for others.”

As Westport welcomes back our favorite restaurants and caterers, let’s welcome this new venture too. It’s manna from heaven — or at least, from a kitchen in town.