HANCOCK — One thing about Melissa Ford is that she can never be far away from a commercial stove.
Of her nearly two-year hiatus since cooking for J.M. Gerrish Café & Ice Cream Parlour in Winter Harbor, she said, “I wasn’t cooking and I love serving my own food.”
Her latest cooking adventure is the newly established Village Café in a multipurpose building that is creating a town center for Hancock almost all on its own
The building on Route 1 is owned and was remodeled by Phoebe and Phil Devenish and now houses their wine shop — Best Wines — a hair dressing salon and now the café.
The café owned by Ford is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Village Café has take-out breakfast and lunch. Or diners can eat at the counter or at several tables purchased from the former Armando’s restaurant in Hancock.
Breakfast ranges from egg sandwiches on a bagel or English muffin to a ham and cheese croissant to a breakfast burrito and homemade quiche.
For something simpler, there are baked goods, from muffins and croissants to pie, banana bread, cookies and brownies.
“We have no fried food,” said Ford, who was helped by her mother, Ginger Johnson. This summer her daughter, Genesis, will be pitching in.
Lunch is a series of interesting sandwiches, among them Ford’s signature chicken salad sandwich.
The list includes, among other offerings, barbecued chicken with cheddar cheese; bacon, barbecue sauce and diced tomato; the “Avocado Dream” with chicken breast, avocado, tomato and homemade vinaigrette; pesto chicken; ham apple chutney; chicken parmesan, and, for vegetarians, “Love This Goat” with goat cheese and “a ton of grilled veggies” and a Greek sandwich with fresh veggies, feta cheese, calamata olives and vinaigrette.
For less adventurous eaters there are the standards — bacon, lettuce and tomato, club sandwiches, tuna, turkey and ham sandwiches with a long list of optional add-ons.
Sandwiches may be ordered on pita bread, a wrap, bagel or home-baked bread. There are gluten free options as well.
The menu includes salads, either with veggies or added tuna, chicken and chicken salad and steak and cheese.
Drinks are iced tea and coffee, including cappuccino made in a machine Ford also purchased from Armando’s.
She will be serving homemade ice cream once her machine is delivered.
Phoebe and Phil Devenish said they wanted a café in the building because they believe the town could benefit from having one.
“You need to have a place to sit and have coffee and visit with your friends,” Phoebe said. “The whole idea was to take the building out of its doldrums and create life in the center of town.”
Phil added, “It’s come out very nicely.”
Ford said she plans to be open until the end of the year and will decide at that time whether to stay open through the winter.
“I’ll see how much business there is,” she said.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. (or less) salt
- ¾ lb. butter
Cut in butter with flour until crumbly. Add enough cold water until the crust sticks together. Form four balls and refrigerate for up to one hour.
- 2 pie crusts
- 4 cups raspberries
- 1Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 3 Tbsps. corn starch
Mix together. Put one crust on bottom, add filling, top with second pie crust. Brush milk on the top and sprinkle sugar over it. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes.