WALDWICK, N.J. – Maureen Heller – who owns La Vie En Rose Bakery Café in Waldwick – has a fitting favorite pastime: looking for recipes.
“Some people like to read novels or biographies. I love to read cookbooks and find new recipes,” Heller, of Wyckoff, told Daily Voice.
She also searches the internet, reads blogs, picks people’s brains, eats at other restaurants, and travels – all to get ideas of what to put on her own menu, she said.
“We try to do all unusual, fresh ingredients,” she said.
The weekend brunch menu includes items such as: smoked salmon benedict; fried eggs over leeks, mushrooms and spinach; crab croque madame on toasted sourdough; mixed berry ricotta crepe; and carrot cake pancakes.
The eatery also serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and goodies like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, brownies and pastries all week long.
Heller and her husband Bill purchased the spot on West Prospect Street six years ago.
“I come from a really large family and I would always do most of the big parties, my husband and I together,” Heller said. “We always really enjoyed it.”
Heller left her job as an occupational therapist, and the pair considered opening a bed and breakfast down the shore. But with Bill still having to commute into Manhattan to work, they decided against it.
Then one day Heller was looking for a cake, and walked into the previous bakery on the site. She struck up a conversation with the owner, who told her the place was for sale.
“Within six months, I took over,” she said.
She now employs two full-time chefs, one full-time baker and three waitresses. And they serve a steady stream of patrons.
“We have a lot of regulars,” she said. “We have a pretty good following.”
For more information on the cafe, CLICK HERE .