There are a few things we cannot get enough of in South County, like great food, tight-knit communities and family. Lucky for us, there’s a newcomer in Wickford that combines these traits under one roof: Shayna’s Place. It’s a family owned and operated ice cream parlor, café and juice bar. But it’s more than just a few family members who’ve banded together to start something, Shayna’s Place is much more involved. Here’s the breakdown: Husband and wife Matthew and Marjorie Olerio co-own the place. The restaurant is named after their daughter Shayna who has Down Syndrome. But in their family, they call it Up Syndrome because of the light and love emanating from her. “Shayna is an inspiration to us all. She’s all about love, compassion towards others, laughter, hospitality, great food and excellent music – she makes everyone feel happy and important,” says Matt. “We’ve had many great adventures in our lives as a family and knew we wanted to do something together that also gave Shayna the opportunity to flourish and use her God-given gifts.”
Furthermore, Shayna’s brothers, James and Matt Jr. are in on it, along with lifelong friends Daniel D’Arezza and Eliza Drew who used to babysit Shayna. “We all run it together. We all work as a team,” says James. In fact Matt Jr.’s wife Joanna also helps out, along with James’ girlfriend Alysse Vindeed.
But let’s talk food. Anyone with a food sensitivity will find something to fill their belly. There are a variety of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items as well as classic sandwiches and salads. In fact, the menu is inspired by Shayna and her love and passion for great food. She’ll often start her day with an avocado spread on toast and a raw juice, and on a special occasion, she’ll enjoy an Allie’s Donut.
As for sandwiches, try the Gilbert Stuart; it’s Shayna’s favorite. It’s got roasted turkey, cranberry chutney, romaine, sprouts, green apple, cheddar and light mayo on ciabatta. Her favorite salad is the Sweet Baby Kale: romaine, baby kale, Granny Smith apples, golden raisins, walnuts and goat cheese with a honey-poppy seed vinaigrette.
They also make a fresh cucumber mint lemonade every day – a great complement to a sandwich or salad – and smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables; most notably the Starving Artist if you want to get your greens in. Most of their baked goods and desserts are made daily for them by Foremost Bakery in Providence, and they carry bagels from Bagelz of Wakefield.
Matt was fortunate to grow up in a time where local mom and pop retailers thrived on every corner. “The baker, butcher, the fruit stand, the local hardware store, etc. These small businesses played a vital role in each town – not only providing goods and services, but also a greater sense of community,” he explains. “I truly believe that locally, family-owned businesses are going to make an amazing comeback in our country and will be the driving force to rebuilding and creating a thriving economy in America.” 45 Brown Street, Wickford. 294-8740
From the Grocery Store to Your Doorstep
Don’t you wish there was a grocery store delivery service for local markets? Belmont Market has granted your wish. Now you can go online, shop all your grocery needs and have it delivered curbside. All you need is a minimum purchase of $40 and the delivery charge is a whopping $2.99 (that’s probably less than you would spend on gas getting to and from Belmont). You can even have groceries or prepared goods delivered to your office for that must-be-perfect client lunch. Items to choose from include deli items, health and wellness products, prepared, frozen and baked goods and fresh seafood. This online shopping is powered through the Rosie app, so download it now and get your shopping on from the comfort of your own home. www.RosieApp.com, www.BelmontMarket.com
A Fall Smorgasbord
Fall Restaurant Week returns to the Narragansett area from October 23-November 1, with a kickoff fundraiser at the Kinney Bungalow for the Narragansett Land Conservancy Trust on October 20. As for participating restaurants, Twin Willows, Arturo Joe’s, Coast Guard House, Oceanside at the Pier, Trio, PJ’s Pub, Poncho O’Malley’s, TwoTen Oyster Bar, George’s of Galilee and Maharaja are just a few. As if you needed a reason to go out for the night and have local chefs cook up fresh, delicious and fresh-from-the-sea meals, now you can get even more bang for your buck. Prices vary according to restaurant.