GLENS FALLS — A Celiac disease diagnosis about a year ago led to a new entrepreneurial direction for Melissa Brennan.
The longtime day-care operator will open Fresh Adk around Dec. 1 at 11 South St., in the Empire Theatre building, in downtown Glens Falls, in the space where North Country Coffee Café previously operated.
The new café will offer custom-prepared dishes for people with special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, Paleo or gluten-free, as well as for those with no dietary restrictions who just want a wholesome meal.
“It’s just clean food and it can be prepared to what your body needs,” Brennan said.
The café will stock myriad ingredients which customers can select from to build their own meal or choose one of the café’s suggested combinations geared to various diets.
Options will include salads, quinoa and rice bowls, sandwiches, wraps, omelets and souffles.
A price structure has not yet been determined.
Brennan, who worked for about 20 years developing and operating day-care centers, said she got the idea for the restaurant after being diagnosed with Celiac disease, a genetic disease that prevents walls of the small intestine from absorbing certain grains including wheat, rye and barley, collectively known as gluten.
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The body sets off a toxic reaction when those grains are ingested.
Brennan said it was difficult to monitor all the ingredients in restaurant food, and she often became ill when unknowingly eating food with gluten ingredients.
“It stole my life. It just really did,” she said.
Brennan has hired Chef Kaitlyn Drysdale, who has dual culinary and nutrition degrees.
Hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with the 20-seat restaurant available evenings for special events.
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