Bob Lavorgna, left, and Bob Bourassa, owners of Carriage House Farms Catering, Bourassa Catering, recently opened BMuse Cafe, 665 N. Colony Road. The business features a salad bar and a largely gluten-free menu. | Eric Vo / Record-Journal
April 24, 2014 11:52AM
By Eric Vo
WALLINGFORD — Surrounded by fast food chain restaurants and diners on Route 5, BMuse Cafe offers its customers salads and sandwiches on a menu that is largely gluten-free.
Owners Bob Bourassa and Bob Lavorgna also own Carriage House Farms Catering and Bourassa Catering. The catering businesses was formerly located on Center Street and is now run in the same building as the cafe, located at 655 N. Colony Road in a newer plaza anchored by Naugatuck Savings Bank.
BMuse Cafe offers three different soups a day and a large salad bar. Customers can choose from “specialty salads,” or they can fill out a “tossed to order salad” sheet — filled with a number of vegetables, fruit and different sources of protein.
“We pride ourselves on having everything fresh,” Lavorgna said. “... We put you in control. As the customer, you get what you want to eat.”
The menu is largely gluten-free, with only five items on the “Toss to Order Salad” sheet containing gluten.
Lavorgna and Bourassa operated a similar salad cafe in Waterbury from 2009 to 2011. The success of their catering business forced them to close, Lavorgna said.
“We had to make a decision because our catering business was growing,” Lavorgna said. “We put a big focus on that, but in the back of our minds, we knew we wanted to open the cafe again.”
Before starting the catering business, Lavorgna worked at an insurance company in Hartford and Bourassa was an executive chef. The idea to start a salad cafe originated from Bourassa’s experience as a chef. The concept was very popular in areas with big companies because employees wanted fresh food made to order.
While they had to close their first salad cafe because the catering company was growing, Lavorgna said he doesn’t anticipate running into a similar problem.
“We’ve done a really good job building the infrastructure to grow,” Lavorgna said. “If anything, we want to expand this cafe because there is a need in other areas of Connecticut.”
Doreen DeSarro, the business recruiter for the town’s Economic Development Commission, said she likes the concept.
“You don’t have to sit down to get a salad,” she said. “If you’re limited in time and want a healthy alternative, you can go in and grab your salad and go back to your desk.”