Mustard Seed Cafe Flourishes With Farm-to-table Cuisine
Laurie Perri’s commitment to farm-fresh ingredients goes beyond the shopping list for her Waymart restaurant, the Mustard Seed Cafe.
She’s built her guarantee of local quality produce right into the names found on her menu.
For instance, the Wayne County Omelette promises a dish bursting with flavors sourced entirely from nearby growers and dairy farmers. And savvy diners will recognize the names of area vendors found under the ingredients list on Perri’s seasonal menus, from Beach Lake Bakery breads and rolls for the grilled cheeses and burgers to Greene Acres Farm’s pasture-raised eggs used in the Breakfast Stuffed Portabella.
“Support local and know where your food comes from,” Perri advised. “I use probably 90-percent organic ingredients. I buy from local sustainable farms, and I know what my farms are using.”
Just before Perri and her husband, Ronald, opened the Mustard Seed Cafe in January 2014, the Honesdale native toyed with the idea of opening her own small produce market. A “naturopathic nutrition counselor,” Perri earned a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness but grew up in restaurants her whole life, she said.
“I’m not culinary trained, but I can probably out-cook most,” she said.
The couple was drawn to the Belmont Street location where they opened the cafe because its former resident business, a flower shop, left behind a pair of giant walk-in coolers that were perfect for keeping produce fresh.
Perri could dictate exactly how the restaurant would be remodeled thanks to her husband’s technical skills as a contractor. He gutted the whole building, and the Mustard Seed Cafe, with seating for up to 60, took form. (Next on his honey-do list is transforming the greenhouse into extra kitchen space.)
“Because of the quality of the food we do and how we use it, there’s so much prep to be done, so we have quite the kitchen staff,” Perri said. “We have no deep fryer. We try to keep the pricing affordable. We get creative with what we’ve got.”
The menu includes brunch favorites and hearty lunch offerings, with specials shared daily on Facebook. Perri said her new fall menu will debut Monday, Oct. 1, and include plenty of pumpkin items and a new cheddar burger. Also in October, the cafe ceases in-house seating on Friday nights to resume its popular Friday Night Family Takeout service.
“We do a vegan and gluten-free option and a regular option, and they pre-order by Thursday and pick up on Friday,” Perri said. “It’s a good, home-cooked meal and keeps them from feeding their families junk at the end of the week when they’re sick of making dinner.”
Perri also makes homemade desserts such as cookies, brownies, sweet breads and a vegan truffle. She even provides her famous toffee bars to Black & Brass Coffee Co. in Honesdale.
“My specialty is gluten-free and vegan baking. It’s all done with unprocessed sugars and flours,” Perri said. “At St. Patrick’s Day, I do Irish soda bread, and I do Easter eggs with organic chocolate. At Christmastime, I do 5,000 cookies because I do the gluten-free and vegan, and no one (who wants them) can find a nice cookie tray.”
Despite her preference for recipes that cater to this style, Perri insisted that not all of Mustard Seed Cafe’s best dishes are meat- and dairy-free. In fact, her variety of cooking and baking draws guests who drive miles to taste her food.
“The Mustard Seed’s signature is layers of flavors. I love stacking things,” she said. “We are more of a destination point. We bring them from all over, from Binghamton, (New York), to Forty Fort.”
In fact, she strongly recommends reservations — for Sundays especially — as the line for a table sometimes stretches outside.
“We’re holding our own. I have a passion for it, and I think that’s what makes a difference,” Perri said. “If you don’t have that passion, it doesn’t taste the same.”
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT on Twitter
The Mustard Seed Cafe
Address: 233 Belmont St., Waymart
Established: January 2014
Owners: Laurie and Ronald Perri
Cuisine: Farm to table
Hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Online: Visit mustard seedwaymart.com and the restaurant’s Instagram and Facebook pages.