Something Special Bakery & Cafe in Kingston provides sweet and savory offerings
KINGSTON — Al Frank, now retired, has traveled the world. But, he says, he is hard pressed to remember any experience that compares to Something Special Bakery & Cafe on West Walnut Street.
The small eatery, slightly off the beaten path, provides not only a variety of pastries, but a breakfast and lunch menu that keeps customers coming back.
Employees Sophie Rittenhouse and Chelsea Kinlew said many regulars come in every day to enjoy a favorite baked good or food item.
Frank, for example, has recently taken to eating chocolate chip muffins, but was on an egg white omelet stretch before that.
What stays the same, Frank said, is the good service the business provides, as well as a spirit of community.
He has seen the evolution of the building, which goes back prior to current owner John Clark’s purchase of the business about 10 years ago.
Frank points out how the business grew from simply a bit of space around a counter to several rustic rooms often filled with customers.
On Saturdays, he sits in the back room.
“It gets really crowded on Saturday,” he said, “so I like to be out of the way to read the paper.”
Manager Colleen Miller said the business fills up on a regular basis, especially at lunch time.
Miller, 28, had worked as a server before moving to her current position.
“I love my job,” she said. “I love the people and enjoy working for my boss.”
Clark, she said, works while the rest of the world sleeps, making everything from scratch.
“Even the soups are made from scratch,” she said. “Down to the stock.”
Miller said a variety of breads carefully crafted by Clark are also a favorite of customers.
“He always puts his own delicious twist on things,” she said.
She said the business uses local produce, as fresh as possible, with seasonal offerings.
“Our Monte Cristo sandwich is specific to our spring menu,” she said. “But John makes his own version, with brown sugar glazed bacon.”
The eatery’s menu contains a variety of items to please the palate of the ultra health conscious, as well as meat lovers and those for whom calories are not an issue.
“The salads are great,” said Kinlew, “especially the house salad with grilled chicken.”
The eatery uses Facebook to share photos of its colorful baked goods and let customers know the specials of the day.
For example, a recent Monday meant roast turkey breast with homemade peach chipotle jam, crisp bacon and baby spinach.
Tuesday’s special featured Spinach & Apricot, served with raspberry vinaigrette and fresh bread.
Recent Facebook posts also provided customers with a glimpse of such baked favorites as Blood Orange Ginger Ricotta Cookies, which can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or taken home.
“The very favorites, though, are the simplest,” said Miller. “Chocolate cookies and fresh-baked croissants.
For art lovers, the business exhibits artwork of local artists with a new exhibit introduced every six weeks.
“Each exhibit has an opening event,” said Rittenhouse. “A lot of people usually come out and enjoy a chance to gather together.”
Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLNews