Greisers is appreciated throughout Easton for its delicious treats and homey atmosphere, but one of its most intriguing aspects is the mix of special events it offers throughout the year.
On Dec. 14, Greiser’s owner Adrienne Burke hosted a talk regarding the first recorded meteorite to land in North America. It landed in Easton in 1807. But at the time, Easton was called Weston, so the meteorite is known world-wide as the Weston meteorite.
Frank Pagliaro, a local historian, spoke about the story of the Weston meteorite and his role in researching it. Pagliaro worked for months to locate the meteorite’s impact point to correct poorly done documentation of the impact point.
“This is more than just a meteorite,” Pagliaro said. “It was an exciting local event. People talked about it all over the world.”
About 25 people or so were able to hang out and sip sparkling wine while listening to his insightful talk. And Burke, although she’d heard the story many times over, was just as interested as the enthusiasts and eager listeners in the room. Burke has always loved science.
In fact, she moved to Easton in 2010, shortly after leaving a job at the New York Academy of Science. Because of her passion for history, the first thing on her list was to go to the library and learn all she could about her new home.
Digging into Easton’s history proved extremely entertaining, and when she heard about the meteorite, she was ecstatic. Burke was fascinated by it. It also happened to land on her birthday — Dec. 14.
“It made me feel like I belong in Easton,” Burke said.
After continuing her research of the meteorite, she came across a fellow Eastonite who was intrigued by it as much as she was: Frank Pagliaro. So on Dec. 14, the 212th anniversary of the meteorite’s landing in Easton, she organized an amazing event.
There was gorgeous sparkling wine with edible crystals (stardust) around the top, and delicious meteorite-themed snacks.
Burke said she was happy to host events such as this one, and she is proud to live in Easton. Not only because it is her home, she said, but because “it’s a place where a moment attributed to the birth of astronomy in the United States happened!”
Easton Newspaper to Relaunch via Citizen-SHU Partnership
By Adrienne Jane Burke, photos Gregory Golda
The Easton Courier and its former chief editor Nancy Doniger are coming back to town.
Easton’s 7,500 residents have lacked a dedicated news source for nearly two years. Hersham Acorn Newspapers ceased publication of the 38-year-old weekly broadsheet, The Easton Courier, in January 2018. Since then, townspeople have widely lamented the loss of journalistic coverage of town hall, community, and school activities. And during 2019, when candidates campaigned for a local election and the Planning & Zoning Board implemented a controversial new Plan of Conservation and Development, the absence of a trusted source of information was especially noticeable.
If all goes according to a recently unveiled draft plan, however, a spring 2020 Easton Courier relaunch will provide Eastonites once again with fair, balanced, and informative local news.
In late 2018, Doniger and Easton resident and Sacred Heart University instructor Jane Paley began exploring with Jim Castonguay, Director of Sacred Heart’s School of Communications and Media Studies, a way for students and faculty there to partner with the people of Easton to create a citizen-led local news publication. The three formed an Easton Courier Editors’ Group with the coordinator of SHU’s digital journalism master’s degree program Rick Falco, student newspaper faculty advisor Joanne Kabak, and media studies clinical instructor Gregory Golda. Together they hatched a plan for what Paley dubbed “Easton Courier 2.0.”
Last Friday in the Martire Business and Communications Center at Sacred Heart, Castonguay and Doniger presented the Editors’ Group’s vision to an audience of more than 40 Easton residents. Representatives of a range of town departments and committees, clubs, organizations, and businesses as well as private citizens showed up for the event. Among them: Easton’s First Selectman David Bindelglass, Selectmen Kristi Sogofsky and Bob Lessler, Town Treasurer Christine Calvert, Board of Education Chairman Jeff Parker, Police Chief Tim Shaw, Fire Chief Steve Waugh, Easton EMT Board Member Lorraine Mercede, Library Director Lynn Zaffino, and Aspetuck Land Trust Board Member Nancy Moon.
Castonguay sees the ambitious project as a potential national model for community journalism in the age of corporate-monopolized news media and disappearing town newspapers. It is also, he said, a perfect fit for his school’s mission to serve the surrounding community and train students to produce high-quality journalism. But he emphasized that citizen participation is crucial to its success. Falco said, “We’re going to create the structure for you, but it has to be a community effort with a goal to serve the community.”
The Editors’ Group will seek grant funding to support the initiative, and Doniger and Paley will vet and edit all content submissions for factual accuracy and fairness. A mockup Easton Courier website the group demonstrated, included content categories like the original Easton Courier: town news, police news, community voices, education, sports, and events.
To be sure, a few things will be different about the new publication.
For one, the Editor’s Group does not expect to have a budget to print a newspaper. Castonguay said the Easton Courier will be an online publication, and, as a non-profit, it will not be driven by or pursue advertising. There might, however, be simple ways for residents or organizations to print pages or articles from the website, and some in the audience suggested exploring ways to provide access to less digital-savvy citizens.
Doniger noted that a benefit of an online newspaper is freedom from weekly or monthly print deadlines. “We want to cover breaking news and we will be nimble enough to post content as it comes in,” she said. Corrections can be made more expediently online, too. “If you let us know something is wrong, we will correct it,” she said.
Another difference is that a paid staff of professional journalists will not produce the new Courier’s content. Instead, students, community organizations, and other unpaid contributors, including, perhaps, several Easton residents with professional journalism experience, will write the content. Nevertheless, Castonguay and Doniger (pictured below) confirmed a commitment to uphold high journalistic standards and said they will require all contributors to follow submission guidelines. “Most articles will be vetted by Jane or me, and we’ll be training students about how important it is to make sure sources are accurate,” Doniger said.
Falco added that Sacred Heart students who work for the paper will be “doing real journalism,” getting out into the community and covering town events. Castonguay said it will be up to the businesses and organizations in town to do their own public relations–or recruit student interns to do it for them–by pitching student journalists on stories. He acknowledged that the group will face a unique challenge: How to maintain continuity of coverage of town government and ongoing issues when students assigned to those beats graduate and move on.
Overall, the Editors’ Group’s plan was met by enthusiastic support and several rounds of applause from town leaders. SHU professor Joanne Kabak noted that the group’s unanimous “desire to have [the Courier] back tells me that Nancy did an amazing job.”
The Reverend Ellen Huber of Christ Church in Easton noted that it often takes losing something to realize how important it is to us.
Castonguay said the next step will be a Town Hall-type meeting early in 2020 to provide a preview of the new Easton Courier for the entire Easton community. In the meantime, he said to the audience, “you are ambassadors to spread the word.”
“Inclusiveness is critical,” said First Selectman Bindelglass. But how to get the word out without a current newspaper? The Editors’ Group offered to foot the bill for a town-wide postcard mailing to invite all residents to the next meeting.
If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it, the expression goes. If you want something extraordinary done, ask three busy women to do it; they won’t let anything stand in their way.
No one had to ask Adrienne Burke, Patti Popp and Lori Cochran-Dougall to start a Chamber of Commerce in Easton. The idea took root and grew organically, as each woman contemporaneously sought to spread the word that Easton is a wonderful place to visit and call home.
The new chamber made its debut on Memorial Day. Burke asked Phil Doremus, town zoning enforcement officer and longtime Greiser’s customer, how they could get into the parade. Doremus said they would need a vehicle and a sign.
The three women marched in the parade with Cochran’s pickup truck, Uncle Jesse, as their float and a Chamber of Commerce sign perched on top. Burke had picked up the sign at an antiques shop in Saratoga, N.Y.
Popp, founding farmgal of Sport Hill Farm, said she had been thinking about how to promote Easton for some time. She was concerned about all the negativity in town and in the news, and wanted to counteract it with positivity, to show all that Easton has to offer.
“Adrienne took over Greiser’s, and it’s so beautiful,” Popp said. “It was an existing business, but change is good, change is refreshing in moderation, I feel. This place opened a lot of opportunities. Between this store, the farms and the Easton Village Store, I wanted to find a way to bring people to Easton instead of discouraging them, to let people know that Easton is a gem of a town.”
Although the new Greiser’s has an updated feel and clientele, Dick Greiser, the longtime owner, still works there too, selling antiques and gas. The oldtimer “gang at Greiser’s” continues to gather there for conversation and camaraderie, and is welcomed and appreciated.
Cochran-Dougall said the true essence of what she loves about Easton is how the old and the new come together, how Burke worked with Greiser to turn the old deli and store into something new and wonderful, that benefits both parties.
Popp spoke with Burke about her ideas for promoting Easton, and Burke suggested they form a Chamber of Commerce. Popp did some research and discovered it was something they could do on their own, that it didn’t require town approval. As soon as Cochran-Dougall heard Burke and Popp talking about forming a chamber of commerce, she immediately embraced the idea.
Cochran-Dougall moved to Easton 10 years ago and has spent much of her life focused on local-food advocacy. She is the executive director of the Westport Farmers Market and has been looking at the foundations of Easton and how to embellish on that, from the farms to the Agricultural Commission.
Her latest accomplishment was getting the official state designation of Easton as the Christmas tree capital of Connecticut, which makes it more likely to get grants, she said. Even though Popp doesn’t sell Christmas trees, she keeps her farm store open through December and plans to participate in the festivities of making Easton a winter wonderland, along with the Christmas tree capital designation.
“Why do I want a chamber of commerce? Because we have such a unique town,” Cochran-Dougall said. “In sales, you want things that are unique and authentic. You don’t want to look like everything else.”
“For me, it was something I thought of while I was working on the business plan for the store,” Burke said. “There are so many hoops you have to jump through with the town and other things.”
Simultaneously, Shelley Stewart was starting Priscilla’s Place, a daycare center at Jesse Lee Church. “We were comparing notes,” Burke said. “People who were approving her permit through the town and the church were calling me and asking what I had gone through.”
Burke said she and Stewart thought there ought to be a chamber of commerce where people could share information. That weekend Burke was in an antique store in Saratoga and saw the chamber of commerce sign.
“I texted a picture of it to Shelley, and she said, ‘Well, that’s a sign,’” Burke said. “Then Patti and I started talking about starting a chamber, and I gave the sign to her for her birthday and said, ‘You do it. I don’t have time to do it.’”
Popp was getting busy with the farming season and opening her store. But it all came together, and they rapidly got the chamber off the ground over Memorial Day weekend with Cochran’s assistance. To date, 68 business people have joined the Facebook group they started, as interest and enthusiasm continues to grow.
“A lot of people in Easton have businesses that aren’t storefronts,” Burke said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for people to network and help each other. That’s what I’m interested in, having businesses in the community supporting each other. That’s what a chamber does.”
They want to put Easton on the map, not only so people will discover what a safe and wonderful place it is to live, but also so others in the state and region will see it’s a great place for a weekend drive.
“There are so many things to do,” Popp said. “You can go for a hike on the Aspetuck Land Trust trails come here and grab a sandwich and feel very Vermontish without the long drive.”
Easton has a strong arts community, Burke said, and includes many well-known artists and authors. There are festivals, exhibits and lectures, at Greiser’s and the Easton Public Library.
The ballfields are “gorgeous,” Cochran-Dougall said. “Any weekend you can hear kids laughing.”
You can stop by the scenic farms to pick blueberries, apples or peaches in season, buy fresh milk and grass-fed beef and pork, go for a picnic, hike or bicycle at Aspetuck Park, Popp said. The Olde Bluebird Inn is a favorite spot for breakfast and lunch. The reservoirs are picturesque, and the abundance of open space and forests make for beautiful fall foliage leaf peeping.
Burke, Popp and Cochran-Dougall invite Easton businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, farmers, artists, writers, landscapers, builders, doctors, lawyers, photographers, information technology workers — and everyone who is interested — to check out the Easton Chamber of Commerce Facebook group. They envision a directory and resources in the future, along with meetings and events.
Many residents telecommute from their safe and spacious homes in Easton to jobs that may be headquartered anywhere in the world. The new chamber welcomes them all, Burke said.
“If anybody is interested, reach out to us and be patient,” Popp said. “We are individuals giving time from our busy lives.”
Anyone who spends time walking along the beach knows the joy of collecting seashells. Artist Holly Hawthorn calls them “the bounty we live with.”
“The seashell is a timeless symbol that for me evokes playfulness of time spent on the beach,” Hawthorn said in her artist statement. “The illustrative works I create are titled to amuse the viewer. I especially enjoy using plays on words to title them. They are little celebrations of art.”
“She Shells,” “Happy as a Clam,” “Happy as a Clameo,” “Jingle Shell Mingle,” are a few of the playful names she has given to her art work.
Greiser’s Coffee & Market invited patrons to an art opening for Hawthorn’s porcelain sculptures Sept. 6. Adrienne Burke, proprietor, made clams casino to complement the exhibit which will remain on display at the store through September. Burke also sported a clam-inspired belt, pearl necklace and pearl earrings in keeping with the theme.
“We’re delighted to feature Holly’s creative and lovely work at Greiser’s this month,” Burke said. “September is my favorite time of year for shell collecting and the She Shell Series brings the joyful feeling of a beach walk to the store.”
Guests sipped wine, nibbled clams and other tasty appetizers while admiring Hawthorn’s art work and mingling with the other patrons.
A sculptor, printmaker and ceramicist, Hawthorn crafted and concealed unique petite porcelain portraits within shells she found on the beach from Maine to Ireland, producing playful and thought-provoking work in many mediums.
Her porcelain sculptures reflect her love of the ocean; her monoprints evoke the serenity of calm water scenes. “My walks on the beach and forest on soft grey days provide me with inspiration to create monoprint images showing the subtle colors and fleeting moment that only become visible in the misty atmosphere,” she said, “like the images created by the waves on the water’s edge, similar but infinitely different.”
Hawthorn, who lives in Redding, is a member of the Easton Arts Council. A number of fellow arts council members turned out to support her. Easton painters Robert Brennan and John Forgione, who previously exhibited their paintings at Greiser’s, also attended Hawthorn’s art opening..
Brennan was Hawthorn’s former art teacher at the University of Bridgeport. She studied art in Italy and Greece in addition to the United States, and instructed students in drawing, ceramics and sculpture.
All of the whimsical “Happy as a Clam” portraits on exhibit at Greiser’s are for sale.
Easton Arts Council members Kit and Geri Briner are longtime friends of Hawthorn. Geri Briner summed up that special something that draws people to Greiser’s, whether it’s to art openings, pizza nights or just for coffee and conversation.
A hearty crowd of friends and neighbors braved the arctic vortex to gather at #Greiser’s Coffee & Market, 299 Center Road, Easton, Conn. to view an art exhibit created by one of their own.
Local artist Louise Astorino attended the Jan. 31 reception to greet guests and talk about her collection of watercolors and ink on cold press paper, titled “Raccogliere: To Gather.” The theme fit the intimate space and friendly ambiance of the upscale market.
“Raccogliere is a representation of the ways in which Florentine people gather in spaces to savor time and the company of others,” Astorino said in her artist’s notes. “During my field research for my IDEA Grant in Italy, I kept a visual diary of pictures, drawings and paintings. When I returned home, I produced a series of paintings that reflect the social interactions and habits I observed in Florence.
“While the world continues to move faster by the day, Florentines have almost unanimously rebuffed the ‘to-go’ culture and remained insistent on gathering in places to enjoy the time and company of others.”
Astorino grew up in #Easton, Conn. and graduated from Joel Barlow High School (#JBHS). She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in painting in 2017. She now lives in Stamford and works for a creative firm in Manhattan.
Astorino’s artwork will remain on exhibit and available for purchase in February. The guests at the reception ventured out on the bitter cold winter’s night not only to admire the artwork but also to enjoy the company of others. The gathering captured the essence of what Adrienne Jane Burke has sought to encapsulate in her upscale market.
Burke describes her new business, which opened Nov. 1, on the shop’s Facebook page: “Greiser’s is the rustic and charming community hub of Easton, Conn. We serve perfectly crafted coffee and espresso drinks, wholesome panini and grab-n-go sandwiches, and artisanal baked goods.”
Burke invites people to meet up with friends, relax over tasty food and conversation, stop by for coffee and … on the way to work, and to shop her market for staples and fine foods, local products and specialty items.
Dick Greiser owns the iconic building where the coffee market is located and could be a Norman Rockwell painting. For many years Greiser operated a deli and antiques shop at the stie, which has belonged to his family for generations. He decided to lease the space to Burke last year for her coffee market and continues to sell antiques and pump gasoline.
NANCY DONIGER WAS THE EDITOR IN CHIEF OF THE EASTON COURIER. SHE LIVES IN NEWTOWN.
Article Reprinted with Permission from Easton Neighbors.
When Dick Greiser, owner of the gas station/antique and curiosities shop at the corner of Center and Westport Roads, closed the deli portion of the Easton landmark that had been in his family since 1926, some might have wondered what would become of the place. After all, Greiser Store has been part of the daily lives of Eastonites for almost a century.
So it was for Adrienne Burke who, in her eight years in Easton, had many occasions to stop in. But each time she drove by the historic storefront, she envisioned something different. She even broached the subject with Dick letting him know that she would love an opportunity to discuss the future of the store with him.
In June 2017 Dick announced he would no longer operate the deli, sparking Adrienne to put her plan into action. It took a year and a half of hard work and a fair amount of serendipitous coincidence, but Adrienne’s vision is now a reality. Since November 1, 2018, Greiser’s Coffee and Market has been open for business, welcoming familiar faces and new ones too, and etching a re-envisioned image of the iconic shop into the minds of Eastonites and visitors alike.
Take a close look around as you sip your nitro-brewed coffee and you’ll find traces of the store’s history. As many things that are different in the “new” Greiser’s, so many connections remain. The hummingbird apostrophe in the new name? Adrienne found the original antique etching at an Easton estate sale and thought it would make the perfect addition to her logo, never knowing that Dick and his late wife (known as Toni, but whose given name was also Adrienne) loved watching the birds in their yard. The eclectic chandelier hanging over the table? It was handmade by Danyel Ferrari, Toni and Dick’s daughter, from Adrienne’s personal eggbeater collection. The coffee mugs on the top shelf of the hutch near the entrance? They belong to the original “Greiser’s gang,” who congratulated Adrienne with a hummingbird card signed by each of them, now displayed behind the counter. The Helen Keller bust next to the green cabinet? Adrienne had her eye on the sculpture from the first time she visited the store. Dick presented it to her on opening day. And the Helen Keller quote that hung in Adrienne’s office from the time she was in her 20s? It reads, in part, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Apropos for the risk Adrienne took to embark on her new business venture.
Still, the investment wasn’t Adrienne’s alone. Without the support of her husband, Jeff Foster, and collaboration from a tremendous number of friends and neighbors, Greiser’s Coffee and Market might not exist. Too many to name, Easton residents offered their assistance in drawing floor plans, reviewing marketing and merchandising concepts, completing a formal P&Z analysis, building the cabinetry, installing the point of sale and sound systems, providing baked goods, and even jumping behind the counter to serve customers on opening day. The help suggests another famous Helen Keller adage: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
It only takes a moment inside the store to understand that Adrienne has created exactly what she set out to: a place where shoppers can enjoy a great cup of coffee while they browse locally sourced goods; a place where friends can gather for a quick hello and a bite to eat; a place where moms and daughters can catch up over a cup of cocoa; a place where neighbors can congregate to build the spirit of community. Greiser’s Coffee and Market is, as Adrienne hoped, “as much about the product as it is the experience.”
And if you’re in the market for a tank of gas or an antique curiosity, you can still find Dick Greiser in the back room of the Easton landmark.
KRISTIN LUNDBYE IS AN EDITOR FOR EASTON NEIGHBORS MAGAZINE.
Article reprinted with permission from Easton Neighbors
If you’ve lived in Easton for any length of time, Greiser’s is likely the first name that comes to mind when you think about the proverbial old-fashioned general store. It has all the right ingredients to indicate a long life of serving the community. There’s the old post office on the east end of the building; the recently refurbished combination coffee shop, deli, and old fashioned country store, along with a very eclectic antique shop that reflects Easton’s past with its interesting selection of antiquities on the west side; and on the outside, there’s even a set of gasoline pumps where you can fill up the SUV while soaking up much the same bucolic atmosphere as your great grandparents would have encountered a hundred years ago. But just how long has this little piece of Easton’s past been around?
The short answer: a very long time!
The present building housing the post office and Greiser’s began life as two separate structures, both of which housed independently operated stores in their earlier days. The side holding the present post office was likely built somewhere around 1740 – build dates on structures of that era are almost never exact, they’re more educated guesses based on land transfers, deeds, wills, and a good deal of local oral history. The first owner was Stephen Wheeler, followed by members of the Seeley and Edwards families. That structure became known as the East Store after another building was constructed sometime around 1800 by David Turney a few yards to the west. The newer building soon became known as the West Store. That building was later sold to Anson Ryan who also operated a grist mill on the pond that sat to the south of both stores. Selleck N. Osborn was born in 1832. In 1850 he was working as a shoemaker for Burr Bennett in his shop just to the north of the Center School on Westport Road. By 1860 he had become a fairly successful farmer, but farming was a hard life at best and Selleck decided hire some help to manage the farm while he began a new, slightly less physically demanding career as a merchant when he first purchased the East Store.
Unlike today’s Easton, there were many merchants who mostly served only the immediate area around their store in the mid-nineteenth century. When the opportunity presented itself in 1868, Selleck took over the position of Easton’s postmaster and moved the post office from the northern side of Center Road into the East Store. He earned a modest $50 that first year for handling the mail but having the post office in his store meant folks retrieving their mail would have to walk right by his merchandise. Increased business by 1870 allowed Mr. Osborn to purchase the nearby West Store and shortly there-after he moved it a few yards east and connected it to the older East Store to form the building we know today.
Osborn’s store became the hub of the center district and it survived even as Bennett’s bookmaking business, and the old grist mill faded into history. The store sold groceries, dry goods, feed and grain. Selleck Osborn – postmaster, deputy sheriff, and merchant – ran his business for over thirty years. When he passed away in 1901, his son Henry took it over and managed it until 1921. After over a sixty-year run, the business finally changed hands.
The Ruman brothers were the sons of Czechoslovakian immigrants. During the last years of the nineteenth century and well into the beginning of the twentieth, Easton saw a large influx of eastern European farmers who had fled their native land looking for a better life in America.
The Ruman Brothers store pictured above would serve both the new and the old residents of Easton for several years. By the early 1920’s the country store at the intersection of Center and Westport Roads was selling gasoline and tires. A large sign over the porch advertised the business as a Goodyear Service Station.
The next family to own the business was headed by Arthur R. Greiser who purchased the property from an aging Henry Osborn in 1926. Arthur and his wife Leontina ran the store and eventually moved into the house just to the east of the building. Their eldest son, Richard, came into the business and became the postmaster. Bringing in the third generation, Arthur’s grandson Richard eventually took over the operation later in the century and today still operates the antique store and gasoline pumps.
The main part of the original store has seen a recent renovation that fully keeps it within the character of the building as it has transitioned into gathering place where locals can still chat over a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee while enjoying a light breakfast or lunch. New coffee shop, deli and store owner, Adrienne Burke, has successfully managed to maintain the wonderful historical atmosphere of Easton’s oldest continued use commercial building.
So, now you know when you think country store, why you likely automatically think, Greiser’s. May it live on another 300 years!
BRUCE NELSON, WHO GREW UP IN EASTON, IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH FOR THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF EASTON
I met up with some Easton friends this past Sunday at the new Greisers Coffee & Market. As a writer, I’m always observing my surroundings. Here’s what I found:
Greisers coffee shop not only offers local townspeople great coffee, baked goods and paninis, it also has the feel of a quaint New England country store, offering a nostalgic vibe that reminds us of simpler times. A time where locals met up for conversation before starting a busy day or winding down after work. Whether meeting up intentionally or just stopping in for a cup of Joe to go, people were striking up conversations all around me.
Like any general store, Greisers also carries hard to find unique gift items (many made by local Easton residents) as well as gourmet cheeses and maple syrup, while also offering some practical groceries for those in need of a last minute half gallon of milk.
As I was waiting on my friends, people sat down all around me, introducing themselves and including me in their light-hearted banter with their spouses and children. Maybe it’s the coziness and warmth of the decor that makes people feel like they are sitting in someone’s living room.
Since these types of country stores are typically found in quaint charming New England towns, Greiser’s Coffee Shop and General Store fits right in and is just what Easton needs.
Whether you live locally, or in a surrounding town, it’s worth making Greisers part of your daily or weekly routine.
GALE PAPAGEORGE MANAGES THE EASTON CT NEWS FACEBOOK PAGE
I am a life long resident of Easton, Connecticut. We have had two general stores in town since the 1920’s or 1930’s. One of those town traditions, Greiser’s, has reopened after a major transformation. It is now my favorite place in town.
The owner, Richard Greiser, has recently decided to retire. So he rented the front rooms of the store and kept the back room for his beloved and wonderful antiques.
The woman he rented to, Adrienne, decided to totally reinvent the front space. She turned it into a “gourmet” country store and coffee shop. It also sells miscellaneous items like candles and soaps, blankets and aprons and interesting teas. It has a distinctly upscale country vibe.
The décor is warm, comfortable and rustic. There are places to sit down to enjoy your coffee, both inside and out, in an armchair or at a table. And there is still friendly conversation, with Adrienne (who is delightful) and other servers, as well as with other customers. So the experience is still small-town intimate.
But the food is totally high end. The refrigerator section houses vitamin waters, cheeses, cultured butter, frozen pastas and packed, marinated vegetables. Also sold are interesting jams, pestos, honeys and condiments.
Some of the teas and coffees served at the counter are cappuccinos, macchiatos, espressos, and chai lattes. Alternate milks are on hand for the lactose intolerant.
The baked goods are delicious, especially the croissants – almond for sweet and bacon and egg, ham and cheese and spinach and ricotta for savory. The cakes and muffins are flavors like orange spice and almond poppy seed and they often have macaroons as well. The sandwiches are paninis, like Brie and fig preserves on whole grain, locally baked bread.
I’m thrilled with the new Greiser’s. I love the vibe and the food. I’ll be even more excited when their chef (yes, they have a real chef) starts making cooked meals for dinner take-out.
I never thought I would be able to sit in a comfy chair and enjoy a cappuccino or latte just one mile from my home! But Easton now has a place to go with atmosphere, personality and charm as well as good food and good conversation. Now I can have a touch of culinary urbanity in my otherwise rural life.