By Ted Glanzer
So far, so good for The Sweet Beet, Granby’s newest unique entry to the local dining options.
Located at 498 Salmon Brook St. (formerly Sharon’s Cookie Jar), The Sweet Beet is a gluten-free restaurant and market owned by Heather Dougherty and Jason LaChance, whose fiancee, Sara Sabbagh, is handling the marketing.
“I’ve been dealing with food allergies for years, including gluten, dairy and soy and some proteins,” Sabbagh said in a telephone interview. “We ended up meeting Heather and forming a friendship and we decided to provide food for everyone. We commented about how many kids are not getting good-looking snacks or pretty birthday cakes because of food allergies. It just snowballed from there.”
The idea behind the store, which opened in December, is that people can grab a healthy meal or snack, know what they are putting in their or their children’s bodies and not have to do the work of shopping and cooking.
The most popular dishes and snacks so far have been the cottage pie (a vegan version of shepherd’s pie, three-bean chili, “Chickpea of the Sea” (vegan tuna), and the mini-cupcakes called Sweeties. Everything, except for the snacks at the counter, is made from scratch.
“It’s going great,” Sabbagh said. “Customers have been wonderful. They’re loving the food we have to offer and they are saying it’s so good we did this and that the area needed this. They’ve been amazing."
Customers have also been giving the owners and employees ideas on dishes to make.
Sabbagh said that meals cost between $9.95 to $14.95, which costs about as much, if not less, than if a person were to go to an organic food store and make the meals from scratch.
What’s more, some of the dishes are two portions, Sabbagh said. People can pick up five meals for $14 apiece and freeze them to eat during the entire week.
Proof, as they say, is in the gluten-free, organic pudding.
Customers, Sabbagh said, hail from all over the Farmington Valley and Massachusetts and rave about the food.
“They say, ‘Finally there’s a place that gears to people with food sensitivities and allergies. And the food tastes fantastic too,’” Sabbagh said. “They say, ‘This was delicious, I’m going to buy all five of these.’ It’s awesome."
The Sweet Beet is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, call 860-653-BEET(2338).