- State Champs! Hillbillies Defeat CresskillPosted 2 weeks ago
- Thanksgiving Game Cancellation StandsPosted 3 weeks ago
- Car Totalled In Avenue CrashPosted 3 weeks ago
- Multi-Vehicle Crash Snarls AvenuePosted 4 weeks ago
- Top Stories For October 2014Posted 1 month ago
- Fire Damages Gerdes Avenue HomePosted 1 month ago
- School Field Foes Force Full Project ReviewPosted 1 month ago
- Town, PBA Reach Agreement On Police TechPosted 1 month ago
- Possible Break In Gas Station Murder TrialPosted 1 month ago
- Water Main Break Closes MontrosePosted 1 month ago
New Business: Tiny Elephant
Alison Meade has been cooking alongside her grandmother since she was eight. Her sister, Dana Bachan, taught herself baking after her second child was born. Now they have put their culinary skills–and their large family–front and center in a new cafe with a small name and big dreams: Tiny Elephant.
If you went through Verona schools any time in the last 20 years you probably sat across the desk from some member of the Meade clan, which includes six siblings. Alison graduated from Verona High School with the class of 2006 and spent time at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst before deciding that her true passion was food. She got a degree from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and, up until last December, worked at Comfort Food Kitchen in Montclair.
Then one door shut and another one opened, along with a wall. Comfort Food Kitchen closed after Christmas and while Meade was lamenting the end of a job she loved, her sister uttered six fateful words: “I wondered how much she’s asking?” The sisters soon found out that they could take over the space at 54 Fairfield Street. The business next door, Watchung Booksellers, had an idea to bring books and cupcakes even closer together: Owner Margot Sage-El was able to get Montclair to approve opening the wall between the two stores. Several Meade and Bachan family members pitched in to prep and paint the new space, creating nooks for reading and noshing, and kitchen space for cooking parties. They planned a menu that would be fresh, seasonal and, of course, family friendly. And while the paint was drying, grandma Anna DeRosa came in for several hours of intensive baking to make sure the young women could faithfully execute her recipes.
But what to call it all? “We went through lots of different ideas,” says Bachan. “How could we find a name that covered it all?” None of the ideas jelled until a younger sister who was just back from volunteering in South Africa started talking about elephants. “Elephants travel in giant family herds,” says Meade, “and they are very loyal.” And the next thing anyone knew, the business was called Tiny Elephant, with a small whisk-bearing blue pachyderm in its logo. It opened June 6 and has been drawing a herd of regulars ever since.
Tiny Elephant serves breakfast and lunch on Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can find cinnamon rolls, cookies and cupcakes, soups, salads, sandwiches and the all important pancakes of the day. This fall, Meade and Bachan will roll out family dinners that commuters can scoop up as they exit the Watchung train stop. Until then, they’ll be catering the live music events that Watchung Booksellers is running almost every summer Friday starting tonight, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. (Grateful Dude plays June 20, with Ariel Guidry on June 27.)
“It’s a tiny place,” says Meade, “with big giant dreams.”
54 Fairfield Street
Tiny Elephant on Facebook
Ample parking on the street around Watchung Plaza and in the municipal lot behind Watchung Booksellers.
Get News Updates By Email
Laning Parents Rally For Crossing Guard
Laning Avenue School parents are coming together to help...
- Posted 14 hours ago
Christmas At Holy Spirit
With Christmas fast upon us, the Episcopal Church of...
- Posted 1 day ago
Top Stories For November 2014
Life may be all about that bass for Meghan...
- Posted 1 day ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 52
This is it folks: The last week of MyVeronaNJ.com’s...
- Posted 3 years ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 22
Naughty? Nice? We’re not going to be judgmental. We’re...
- Posted 4 years ago
PSEG: Here’s Verona Outage Map
With the millions of homes without power around New...
- Posted 2 years ago