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Red Rooster Deli and Bakery-Something New To Crow About On South Main



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Red Rooster Deli and Bakery—

Something New To Crow About

On South Main

By Kaaren Valenta

A new business, the Red Rooster Deli and Bakery, has opened at 97 South Main Marketplace and showcases the talent of baker Kim Gacek Vanghele.

Ms Vanghele, who grew up on Walnut Tree Hill Road in Newtown, had been working in the bakery departments of area supermarkets for years but always with the idea of someday having her own business. So when the storefront that formerly held Sugarbakers came onto the market, she decided that now was the time to do it.

“It was a few years earlier than I’d planned, but I decided not to wait,” she said. “My husband, Chris, helps a lot. We have two children, so he has to.”

Despite her love of baking, she knew that she would need to offer more than baked goods, so the Red Rooster features a deli that quickly is becoming known for panini sandwiches that are grilled in a double-sided panini press. The paninis , $5.95–$6.50, range from the Burger-ini (two patties, melted cheese, sautéed onions, and mushrooms) to the Cubano (grilled pork, ham, and Swiss cheese with pickles and mustard).

There are lots of Rooster wraps, $5.75–$5.95, including a veggie wrap with roasted peppers, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and crumbled gorgonzola cheese; a wrap with homemade chicken salad, bacon, lettuce, and tomato; and grilled chicken on a garlic and herb wrap.

“We only use Boars Head meats and cheese,” Ms Vanghele said. “That includes the hot dogs and burgers, too.”

Deli meat sandwiches are $3.95; a grinder, $5.95. There are luncheon salads, $5.25–$5.95, with specials offered most days. Side orders include curly fries, sweet potato fries, beer-battered onion rings, chili, and a daily soup.

The deli opens at 7 am Monday through Saturday with a breakfast menu that ranges from a 99-cent egg sandwich to $4.85 for the Cockadoodledo: two eggs, two pancakes, bacon, and toast. There are breakfast wraps, and freshly baked donuts and muffins. Finish it off with coffee, tea, espresso, or cappuccino.

Ms Vanghele starts her day baking at the store by 6 am, so her husband gets Christopher Jr, 6, and Lauren, 3, off to school and preschool. He also sometimes helps his wife at her business; both have food handling licenses. The staff also includes a cook who had worked for Sugarbakers.

“This place is more like a bistro or café,” Mr Vanghele said. “You can stop any time of day: in the morning for breakfast, later for a cappuccino and pastry, or come back at noon and have the ‘deli experience.’”

“My wife makes awesome stuff,” he said. “Her carrot cake is the best in the state. She has been making cakes for restaurants on the side for years while she had other jobs. She is fantastic at it.”

Kim Vanghele worked at Stew Leonard’s for seven years, then was the assistant manager in the bakery at the Big Y before her children were born. She also was a waitress at The Villa in Sandy Hook and most recently at the Redding Road House.

She makes cake and pies to order with 24-hour notice, pastries, cookie trays, éclairs, cream puffs, nut breads, and fruit baskets for the holidays.

The Red Rooster has seating for 16 at high tables inside plus another 12 outside during good weather.

Deciding on a name probably was the most difficult part of starting the business, Ms Vanghele said. Then one morning her husband awoke with the name Red Rooster in his head.

“Newtown has the rooster on its seal and the rooster is known for good food,” Mr Vanghele explained. We want to be known for quality, too, and for a good experience.”

The Vangheles added a television set to the casual, yet upscale dining area.

“I want people to come and enjoy themselves,” Kim Vanghele said. “If they want anything special, that’s not on the menu, I’ll whip it up if I have the ingredients.”

The Red Rooster is open 7 to 3 Monday through Friday and 8 to 3 on Saturday. For orders, call 426-6653.

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