Scallions owners take eating on the go to a new level
For those who often eat on the run, Scallions owners Charles and Diana Evans say there is no need to sacrifice quality just for the sake of grabbing a quick bite.
For people who want that restaurant-quality meal, but either need to take it on the road or bring it home for an evening free of cooking and dishes, the couple opened Scallions in Reny's Plaza Dec. 12.
"It came out of frustration over not having any options for when you didn't feel like cooking, but you still want something yummy and well-prepared," said Diana Evans Tuesday morning, Jan. 8. "Here, you don't have to invest two hours and an extra 20 percent for a restaurant-quality meal."
At Scallions, customers have several options. They can choose from the ready-made salads, sandwiches and home-style favorites like macaroni and cheese and meatloaf or popular dishes of Rhumb Line fame, like duck, crab cakes and eggplant Parmesan. All items are ready to go, but customers can eat in and use the microwave available in the dining area if they prefer. Scallions customers may also order items prepared on-site from the seasonal menu, choose from the daily soup selections or grab a cold sandwich from the cooler.
"You can eat it here or take it home and watch a movie in your jammies," said Diana.
She and her husband have a lengthy history in the restaurant business, having worked together as executive chefs for the last 23 years, and having both worked in the industry for nearly 30 years.
Some locals likely remember another of the couple's earlier businesses, The Rhumb Line in Searsport, which they owned and operated for 16 years after moving to Maine from Martha's Vineyard in 1997.
But with their two children — 16-year-old Emily and 18-year-old Chas — getting ready to leave for college soon, the family decided to reinvent their business. With the support of Bob Reny, owner of Reny's Plaza, Diana Evans said, the business went from concept to reality and the Evans family hasn't stopped since.
"It's constant, there's no such thing as sitting down for either one of us," said Diana with a smile.
Chas designed the Scallions logo, and Emily does the baking for the business.
The idea of making restaurant-style dishes available to people who are on the move is not a new one; Diana said it's a concept that exists in other states and in the Portland region.
She said she and Charles hoped that concept would be well received in Belfast, and so far the public has been quite welcoming.
"We've really gotten a great response from the public," said Diana. "We have a lot of our old Rhumb Line customers coming in, and a whole new clientele as well," she said.
Scallions offers something for everyone — everything from vegetarian and gluten-free options to custom meals by request.
"If you don't see what you're looking for [on the menu], or if you need something modified, just talk to us," she said.
Scallions is offering a free coffee day every time they reach 100 likes on Facebook, and Diana said the business has had coffee giveaway days since it opened three weeks ago.
"When we hit the 500 mark, we want to do something special," said Diana.
Scallions also offers catering on the go, an option Diana said saves the consumer money because they don't have to cover the cost of paying staff to serve the meals at the event.
"We work out the menu, the kind of food they want, the kind of event they're having and the kind of feeling they want to portray," said Diana. "Then they just come in and pick it up."
The business works with local farmers to make sure it has the freshest produce on hand, and Diana said Scallions plans to eventually sell beer and wine. Cooking classes are another feature Diana hopes to add to the business by this coming summer.
Diana and Charles say there's been a lot of work involved in preparing the space, but it's been worth all the effort now that their business plan has come to fruition.
"It's like we've given birth to our third child," laughed Diana.
Scallions is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.