Over the past two weeks, Danielle Mashuda has spent hours visiting and researching local farms. That's because as an owner, with Tina Grindeland, of Skinny Pete's Kitchen in Avalon, she wants the food to be as locally sourced as possible. So far, that means local vegetables, pizza dough from Sunseri Brothers and meats from Pasture Perfect Beef in Grove City, to name a couple of ingredients.
And while there's not much technically skinny about the joint (the café's namesake, Grindeland's husband, is "of average stature, stout" says Mashuda), its breakfast, lunch and dinner options are committed to making diners feel good about themselves.
The restaurant's interior is bright and vibrant. There's no fryer on site, and the food is fresh, never frozen. (Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are also on the menu.) There's a wood-fired oven, for pizza, plus a full menu of flatbreads, pasta dishes and "Pete-wiches." The adventurous can use the build-your-own menu for all of the above.
Special events include a weekend brunch and an acoustic happy hour every other Saturday. Mashuda wants the restaurant to feed the community's spirit as well as its stomach: She's displaying and selling wares from local artists, and works with several neighborhood groups for events.
"The community [support] has been unbelievable," she says. "We may not be making money yet, but when we see the same faces, that's what matters."