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Business Spotlight: New cafe offers unique treats

November 17, 2017
Vanessa McGuigan - Chronicle Staff , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Acai bowls have been a recent trend in metropolitan areas, but Gary and Leslie Wyatt have brought this filling and flavor-packed breakfast powerhouse to downtown in a sweet little shop called LellyBelle Cafe, which gets its name from a nostalgic nod to a childhood nickname.

Leslie's first experience with the acai bowls was at a fitness camp in Utah she had attended several years ago.

"I was amazed. I loved them," Leslie said. "We originally started with that idea, but we didn't know if we could sustain the shop with just that. Then we kind of morphed into the vision of having fresh, healthy food, incorporating some local items and take it from there."

Article Photos

Chronicle photo by Vanessa McGuigan

Leslie and Gary Wyatt, owners of LellyBelle Cafe, are shown. LellyBelle, located at 104 E. German St., is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. New winter hours will be posted in December.

The acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries are a nutrient dense superfood from Brazil. Due to being high in antioxidants, the berries are known to have many health benefits, including promoting skin and heart health. The berries are harvested and quickly frozen to preserve nutritional integrity.

LellyBelle's bowl has a base of frozen acai berries, blended with almond milk or coconut water and fruit, producing a thick smoothie consistency - akin to sorbet. It is then topped with a customer's choice of ingredients including various fruits, peanut butter, coconut, dark chocolate or granola, which is made in Vermont and sweetened with authentic maple syrup.

The colorful bowls aren't the only thing on LellyBelle's menu, however. Other offerings include made-to-order cold sandwiches, soups, and smoothies. For a sweet tooth, ice cream from South Mountain Creamery is being served in cone, sundae or float form, and Black Dog coffee is always available, sometimes paired with ice cream in the form of a nitro coffee float. For those not familiar with nitro, it's a cold-brewed coffee infused with nitrogen and served from a tap, much like a Guinness beer is poured - but without the alcohol. The result is a rich, foamy beverage that has lower acidity than hot brewed coffee and more caffeine.

Since opening in September, the Wyatts have seen a steady lunch crowd and serve many regulars.

"We originally were going to open in spring 2018," Gary said. "But things just moved into place for us to be able to open this fall."

The Wyatts feel that a great part of their success so far has been due to their employees.

"They are phenomenal," Leslie said. "That's been probably the best part of this whole endeavor. For me, that's the thing that can really make you or break you - in addition to the food, of course. We really lucked out with our staff."

Taking the plunge into this new endeavor was a complete departure from their careers; Leslie is a nurse in the cardiac OR unit, and Gary was a teacher at a private school who spent his summers in housing construction, although they did use their expertise to complete most of the renovation work in the building. They said they have been so appreciative of the warm welcome from the town and other shop owners.

In the future, the Wyatts would like to add an outdoor seating area by the town run that flows behind their building. For now, they are getting their feet under them, figuring out what works and what doesn't in their shop, and are open to customer needs and feedback.

LellyBelle, located at 104 E. German St., is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. New winter hours will be posted in December.

Visit their Facebook page, LellyBelle Community Cafe, for more information.

 
 
 

 

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