Get To Know The Griddle & Groovy, Now Serving At The Norwich Farmers MarketAug 05, 2022 04:14PM ● By Rose Terami Photos Provided By Griddle & Groovy
Q: What is Griddle & Groovy?
A: Griddle & Groovy is a friends and family–operated business. We serve gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from our booth at the Norwich Farmers’ Market on Route 5 in Norwich. We also offer food catering services with both our grilled cheese menu and other meals that we can customize as needed.
Q: What’s on the menu?
A: Our grilled cheese menu has about 10 sandwiches, both vegetarian and nonvegetarian. We make most of our fillings from scratch and source from local and regional suppliers. We use a variety of cheeses such as cheddar, goat, blue, Gruyere, and Parmesan. Some of our sandwiches are quite simple, while others are more complex. We use quality cheese and other ingredients.
Our Foxy Lady sandwich, for example, has smoked bacon, fried apples, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, a touch of maple syrup, and Fox mustard. Our Morning Goat sandwich has goat cheese, a fried egg, bacon, arugula, and sweet pepper jelly. You can find our complete menu of sandwiches on our website, www.griddleandgroovy.com/sample-menu.
Q: Where are you located, and when are you open?
A: We sell from our booth at the Norwich Farmers’ market on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm or until we’re sold out. We normally stop taking new orders at 12:30, depending on how busy we are. We do not have a restaurant at this time as Griddle & Groovy is a part-time engagement for us. Our catering side of the business varies. We are selective about the events we take on. We like down-to-earth events that do not require formal servicing and have a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Q: What inspired you to create a gourmet grilled cheese food service in the Upper Valley?
A: I always wanted to do something with food because it is my passion. I find an outlet for my creativity in working with food and cooking. I also love how it connects people to the land. To be honest, I was not initially thinking about focusing on grilled cheese sandwiches. I wanted to run a small café with delicious comfort food. It was our friend, Mike, who suggested the grilled cheese option. I am glad he did because it has worked out well for us.
Q: How long have you been around, and how has the business changed over time?
A: We started selling grilled cheese sandwiches in 2016 at the Hanover and Lebanon Farmers’ Markets. Back then, we set up a pop-up tent at the markets and sold from that. The menu was very short, but some of the original sandwiches are still on our menu today. In 2017, we focused on selling weekly at the Lebanon Farmers' Market and filling in at the Norwich Farmer's Market whenever there was an opening. During the first couple of years, we often would sell fewer than 50 sandwiches at each market. While working at the Lebanon and Norwich markets, we experienced growth and became more popular. We added options to our menu and started offering catering services.
Currently, we are only vending in Norwich, where we enjoy a great customer base and community. We easily serve more than 100 sandwiches per market. We are happy with our current size and following. Though our business has changed slightly, it still consists of the same three people making grilled cheese sandwiches and having fun together.
Q: What is your most popular item on the menu?
A: We have several sandwiches that folks like a lot. Our morning sandwiches with fried eggs are popular. These include the Morning Goat and Sausage and Egg. Our Foxy Lady and Mushroom Magic are also quite popular.
Q: How do you go about creating a new grilled cheese menu item?
A: Once I have a new idea, I let it simmer for a bit to see if it sticks. I then think about the process of making the new grilled cheese item, including things like scalability, preparation, and assembly on-site. I test several versions of the sandwich and ask my friends for feedback. The beauty of running a small business is our ability to introduce something new relatively quickly, get feedback from customers, and take it from there. If a new item gains a following, we keep it. If not, we take it off the menu.
Q: Where does your flavor inspiration come from?
A: I find cooking to be a creative activity. I enjoy testing new flavors and combinations. I read several food publications and blogs and generally stay informed about food trends. Most of my inspiration comes from reading, traveling, and trying new things. I also listen to people and their suggestions. Some of our customers have provided excellent feedback and generated ideas.
Q: What do you like about the work you do?
A: I enjoy the community of market vendors and people who shop at the market. I also love to eat and serve others good-quality food. It gives me joy to receive a compliment on something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich.