BRATTLEBORO - If one were to look up the word hardworking in a thesaurus surely Kristen Ferris' name would be at the top of the list. Owner and chief cook Kristen has been putting all of her passion for cooking to work into her new business, Matty C's Café, located in the former D'Angelo's Sandwich Shop, for well over six months.
Kristen has always had a love for cooking, beginning when she was a little girl, and through the years friends and family have encouraged her to open a shop where everyone can reap the benefits of her talents.
And so she did.
Last year her husband, Joseph Ferris, sold his bread route with a regional bakery so he could manage the household and take care of their two teenage children back in Nashua, N.H., then Kristen and Joseph went on the hunt for a small shop, a place where Kristen was able to envision regular customers gathering for good food and good conversation.
They found it on Craig's List, at the former D'Angelo's, 648 Putney Road in Brattleboro. So, they rolled up their sleeves, painted and cleaned, and officially opened for business on Feb. 5.
It has been non-stop for Kristen ever since. Her workday begins at 5 a.m., ending at 9 p.m., starting out with preparations of her homemade meatballs, homemade soups, homemade batter for onion rings, homemade French fries, homemade salads, homemade cakes and cookies, all made fresh daily - notice the emphasis on homemade! Then she puts her server hat on and runs the counter while her right hand man, manager and head cook Randy Kolbe, who has over 10 years experience in the business, works the back end with the help of three part-time line cooks.
Even the name had been carefully thought out. Matty in honor of her son Matthew, a.k.a. Matty, and C in honor of her daughter Caroline, and the word café was chosen to give them the flexibility in their menu options, but Kristen considers what they offer to be called family-style American. Kristen's goal is to create an atmosphere that is unique, with a community feel filled with repeat customers who know one another, conversing while enjoying her food, sort of like the camaraderie of NBC's Cheers, only without the beer.
"There is a great reward in feeding people and making them happy, it brings people together," Kristen said, and boy can she feed people!
The menu at Matty C's Café is wide and varied with appetizers, a large selection of salads and hot and cold subs, specialty sandwiches, burgers and side dishes. All of her sandwiches come standard as a complete meal with chips and pickle, but all the items on her menu may be tailored to a customer's preference and made to order.
Kristen noted that the Steak & Cheese Hot Sub is extremely popular, along with Randy's Reuben made with corned beef, while her homemade French fries closing in as a close second.
Her plans for the future include opening for breakfast in May when she will offer a quick breakfast that is not processed with prepackaged meals, and perhaps at some point a deli counter with homemade salads.
Kristen said that so far business has been good with lots of regular customers already and feels she has reached a point where she is comfortable ramping it up a bit with advertising and getting the word out there that Matty C's Café is here, and Matty C is ready to make you happy!
Matty C's Café is open Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and closed Sundays. For more information or for pick up orders call 802-254-9333.