New bakery and café: Green Leaf puts the accent on organic
At 126 Old Ridgefield Road, where Michelina's Bakery used to be, Green Leaf Organic Bakery and Café has set up shop. Run by two restaurant vets, Robin Marvin and partner Paul Osakwe, the bakery opened July 25 and features an almost entirely organic menu.
The pair met working in a restaurant a few years ago and have about 30 years of experience in the restaurant business between them. Prior to the opening of Green Leaf, Mr. Osakwe owned three of his own shops in the New York City. When both partners happened to move to Wilton, they were inspired to open a café together. Then everything started to fall into place.
"We stumbled across this place and it was just perfect," said Ms. Marvin.
Already built to house a bakery, few changes had to be made to get the space ready for customers. With free wi-fi, some refurbishing inside and a spacious outdoor terrace, complete with shaded tables and privacy from Wilton Center's main road, the lot has really been revamped to give off a relaxed, comfortable vibe. However, all of these changes to the space are really just a backdrop for the heart of the café, the original menu.
"We do everything ourselves," said Ms. Marvin of the menu, which is a combination of Mr. Osakwe's recipes from previous shops and new creations. "Paul's always experimenting in the kitchen." According to Ms. Marvin, Mr. Osakwe devotes most of his day to baking and testing out new recipes in the Green Leaf kitchen, coming in as early as 3:30 or 4 a.m. to start work preparing fresh goods for the day.
The duo focuses on not only providing their customers with freshly prepared products but with organic goods as well. Of all the menu's soups, salads, tarts, tartines, cakes, and pies, it's hard to find recipes that do not center around organic goods, including the café's soda (Oogave Organic Soda) and coffee. "We get our beans specially from New York City — an organic Italian roast," Ms. Marvin said.
Although many ingredients have been supplied from distributors in Brooklyn particularly to get the café up and running, Ms. Marvin said, "we're looking into connecting with local farms a lot in the future." Already, Ambler Farm will be supplying many of the shop's vegetables, a first step for the owners' hopes of having not only a largely organic but a largely locally produced menu as well.
The menu is the major focus at Green Leaf for Ms. Marvin, who is herself not only proud of Mr. Osakwe's concentration on organic but is herself a big fan of his creations. When asked what her favorite item on the menu was, Ms. Marvin answered easily. "Definitely the Fruit Explosion," she said, which consists of organic cream, fruit, granola, yogurt, and a chocolate hazelnut spread dribbled over the top. "It's awesome and great for breakfast."
Although the menu is quite expansive, it does not include alcoholic beverages. "We don't have a liquor license," Ms. Marvin said, "but customers are welcome to bring a bottle with them."
On the café's website, greenleaforganicbakery.com, customers may sign up to be emailed new promotions and get new deals on the menu.
"Right now, on our website, we have a coupon for a free cup of coffee," Ms. Marvin said — that organic Italian roast from the city, "so I hope people will take advantage of that and stop by.
"I just think this is a place where people will really enjoy being."
Information: 203-529-3888 or greenleaforganicbakery.com.