The Little Mustard Seed Cafe and Shoppe, 51111 Washington Street, will welcome customers Saturday with sandwiches, soups, salads, cookies, fresh-fruit smoothies, organic fair-trade coffee, a wide assortment of teas and more.
"We are an organic-focused, family-friendly cafe featuring a full line of gluten-free menu items," owner Kathy Cox of Chesterfield Township said.
Mustard seed of faith to make difference
Cox was inspired by faith to open the cafe that will help people with food allergies like her 7-year-old daughter Evelyn.
Speaking of the business name derived from Bible verse, Matthew 17:20, she said, "If you have faith of a mustard seed you can do anything ... It is going out on a leap of faith that, in this small, little cafe, that God will make it significant for the community, especially for people with food allergies and those looking for healthy eating options."
The cafe will sell her Natures Boundaries skincare line as well as American-made toys, birthday cards and fair-trade products. It will also feature free Wi-Fi for customers. There is seating for 16 indoors and nine outdoors.
Festival, downtown developments underway
The opening is timed with the popular festival that Bay-Rama President John Dupray anticipates will bring an estimated 32,000-34,000 people to the city during the multi-day event, including the popular fireworks show at Walter and Mary Burke Park.
"We got a little bit more boom and color this year," Dupray said.
New Baltimore Mayor Larry Smith championed downtown improvements earlier this week during dedication ceremonies of public boat docks and a patrol boat. Smith noted new businesses like The Little Mustard Seed, an upcoming restaurant in the former Anchor Bay Pharmacy building as well as kayak rentals and a summer streetscape project as means of luring more visitors to the historic downtown.
"We are making New Baltimore again a destination, not just a town to pass through going somewhere else. We want this as a destination and we are making it that way; we are progressing that way," Smith said.
Cox said she decided to set up shop in the waterfront community because of its potential.
"We love it here. It is a diamond in the rough and we want to help polish it up," she said.
Tentative summer hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The business is closed Mondays.