NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Jodi Cummings puts her money where her mouth is.
The Culinary Institute of America-trained chef admits she is "feeding" -- pardon the pun -- both sides of her personality with Caffe Macchiato, her cozy, comfort-food-centric Parisian-style bistro and The Daily Beet, her recently opened juice bar, both in Newburgh.
The two, she said, cater to the way she lives -- and eats. One is all about having fun with food -- think Amaretto French Toast & Bacon, Chicken & Waffles and Baked French Eggs, while the other is all about eating healthy, complete with detox programs.
While Caffe Macchiato, which serves breakfast and lunch only, has been around for 13 years -- she took it over in 2015 and made it her own -- The Daily Beat is her new baby.
"I was a bit spoiled with the café," she said.
"It had a built-in customer base and a familiarity to it. And though there was a juice bar in the space I'm in now, it's nothing like the previous business."
The Daily Beet, with two long counters and nine stools, officially opened June 15 with juices and smoothies. Everything is vegan and vegetarian. Cummings plans to expand the menu with grab-and-go items like salads, wraps, sandwiches and protein boxes.
She's also adding a small market filled with Hudson Valley products such as local eggs, maple syrups, honey and jams (she cans her own). The Newburgh native, who previously had a career in NYC as a fabric designer, said she's been feeling out her new market by asking residents what they want and would like to see in her shop.
Just like with Caffe Macchiato, she's all about making sure everyone who walks through her eateries, feels comfortable -- whether they're a local or an out-of-towner.
"The first thing I wanted to do when I took over the cafe was to make it really comfortable for people," she explained.
"I always admired the cafes in Paris that have been there forever yet make whoever walks through the door feel as if they belong. I wanted to replicate that feeling so that everyone who comes here feels like it's theirs."
Newburgh, she said, is her investment in its future. The cafe in fact, under its previous ownership, was the first business on Liberty Street in 2002. In those days, you got out of your car, went into the cafe, and ran back out.
Now, she said, things have changed and it's "a growing wonderful little street" with a lot of energy and life.
This, despite the fact, she never thought she'd be here. "I laugh because pretty much my entire 25-plus-year food career, I always said I’ll never own a restaurant," said Cummings. "Now I own two."
She admits she's already thinking of another juice bar location. And, come late September, Caffe Macchiato will be serving dinner Saturday nights only.
"I have to take baby steps on all this," she said. "After all, it's just me in the kitchen.
"I need to keep things realistic."
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