April 2007

Make Yourself at Home at Market Street Cafe

Author: Teresa Fitzgibbons

In the heart of Coligny Plaza lies a home away from home—Market Street Café. It’s the sort of place where both the loyal locals and returning visitors are greeted by name and even first-time guests like they’re among old friends.

“We know just about everyone who comes in,” said co-owner Joni Gianguzzi. “A lot of business people and retired people come in three or four times a week. Our staff has been here a long time, and people love the fact that they’ll see someone they know. People are even comfortable coming in here by themselves. They know they’ll be among familiar faces.”

They also know to expect outstanding food at an exceptional value. Everything is homemade and cooked to order, so don’t be afraid to ask the kitchen to accommodate any personal preferences or dietary requirements.

While there’s plenty of traditional American fare on the menu—subs, salads, and sandwiches served on pitas—Market Street Café also offers an array of Mediterranean specialties. Mousaka, pastitsio, spanikopito, and other dishes present a taste of the Greek Isles. Those who prefer to indulge in Italian cuisine can enjoy spaghetti, pizza (by the slice and pie), or chicken or eggplant parmesan. Daily specials, vegetarian meals, tortilla wraps, and an assortment of delectable desserts including pies, puddings, cakes, and custards round out the menu.

Carolyn Baltz & Joni Gianguzzi

“We’re known for our soups,” said co-owner Carolyn Baltz. “We easily get twenty calls a day asking about them.”

No visit to Market Street Café is complete without a cup or bowl of the homemade soup. Each day, cooks create both a cream and non-cream offering. Some have become so popular that a list of customers requesting a call when their favorite is served is tacked to the wall.

That’s just one example of how Market Street Café shows how much they care about their customers. Gianguzzi and Baltz have even been known to deliver soup to sick customers. Beginning this summer, locals can call ahead and let Market Street Café know they’re coming so the staff can prepare a table. Even customers’ four-legged friends are welcome to dine at Market Street Café, albeit in the outside seating area, where they can partake of a doggie biscuit and bowl of fresh water.

“We do try and go above and beyond,” said Gianguzzi. “But we get so much from giving.”

Market Street Café certainly has developed a loyal customer base. It’s not surprising. Diners are free to order meals made to their specifications, and the kitchen has even been known to prepare food that’s not on the menu if possible. Gianguzzi and Baltz have sought customers input on everything from menu items to changes in décor.

“We like to try and spoil them,” said Baltz. “I think that’s why we’ve been in business so long.”

Gianguzzi and Baltz have been spoiling locals and tourists alike at Market Street Café for over twenty years, the last eight as the restaurant’s owners. Gianguzzi, a native of New York, arrived on the island in the mid-eighties while en route to Florida and began waiting tables at Market Street Café. She soon met Baltz, who came from Vermont with the intention of staying only a few years, when she also went to work at the restaurant. A business partnership grew out of their friendship when the previous owner was looking to sell.

“I can’t imagine not being here,” said Gianguzzi. “I just love the people that come in here.”

The ladies have made Market Street Café a true island institution. Diners can sit outside soaking in the sun or stars or enjoy the beachy ambiance inside. The American-Mediterranean menu includes something for everyone, including a kids’ menu. Catering, and carry-out is also available. Recently, Market Street Café has obtained a liquor license. One thing has remained constant though—their devotion to making customers feel at home.

“We really appreciate our customers,” said Baltz. “After all, we know without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Market Street Cafe
Coligny Plaza

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