Crumbs Opens New Year with Dinner Menu

By Lura Jackson

 

Opening an eatery in any location can be a challenge, but every now and then there are success stories from establishments that continue to meet the needs of their clientele. Crumbs, located on Main Street in Calais, is one such success story, with each year seeing the café further shaping its offerings and its environment into a pleasing experience for its customers. For 2018, Crumbs has already come out of the gate running with the launching of a dinner menu and plans to potentially offer wine and beer while simultaneously promoting local arts.

The dinner menu, which includes ½ lb “smashed burger” paninis with variations ranging from All-American to a guacamole club, flatbread pizzas, including buffalo chicken and veggie with a pesto base, and loaded fries featuring Smothered Bacon and Roast Beef with a homemade horseradish sauce, is actually the same as the one offered at Crumbs when it first opened three years ago. At the time, however, the dinner menu wasn’t popular, which co-owner Chris Niles attributes to the newness of the business. “We were just getting our feet warm and settling in,” Niles said. “Downtown is tough, sometimes.”

Since opening, Crumbs has found its success, perfecting its sweets and savory recipes and listening to what customers have requested. One of the winning ideas of the establishment has been to have a single dish “take home meal” on Fridays with enough in each box to feed a family of four. Making only a single dish at a time cuts down on cost, and by experimenting, the Nileses have identified what works and what doesn’t. “It started out as beans and macaroni and cheese, as an idea, and it just grew from there,” Niles said. Since launching the concept, more than 40 dishes have been offered on a weekly basis, with chicken pot pie and lasagna being the biggest favorites. The idea has gained so much traction that Niles and his partner Kevin have opted to expand it to Wednesdays, too.

When customers – many of whom were happy with the take home meals – started asking about eat-in dinner options, the Nileses listened. The new menu launched on Wednesday, January 10th, and it will be available, along with all of the regular offerings of the eatery, from Wednesdays to Fridays, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Looking ahead to the coming year, Crumbs is anticipating the potential of offering locally-brewed beer and Maine-made wines as an option for its clients, along with locally-made mustard, honey, and maple syrup, among other offerings. 

Another addition already in the works is the offering of window and wall space to a local artist, one of which will be featured every month. For February, artist Patrick Cormier of Alexander’s work will be on display. “I like getting people’s names out there,” Niles said. “It doesn’t need to be just brush to canvas, but any number of things.” Artists will be able to sell their pieces if they wish. 

Each of the steps Crumbs is taking is intended to honor the desires of the local community, whom they know are responsible for their success. “We love our customers, and we certainly appreciate that they come. We know that we wouldn’t be here without them.”