Montclair resident, Carissa Borraggine, owner of Harvest Table Fresh Food Eatery, 127 Halsey Street, Newark, was recently awarded the Outstanding Small Business of the Year, by the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation.
Borraggine, who does not have any official culinary training, has worked in the restaurant industry since she was fourteen years old at places like 50s-style soda pop shops, to fine dining establishments, and food sales and distribution.
Carissa, who seems to be something of a old-world throw back, has always been passionate about healthy living. She has practiced yoga for nearly fifteen years, and recently began teaching last year at Lotus Yoga Newark, sister studio to Lotus Montclair.
According to Carissa:
For years, everywhere I’d go, especially in other countries, I couldn’t pass a restaurant or café without popping in to see the place and check out the menu. I started fantasizing about opening my own place, and how I would implement the ideas of all the inspirational places I visited, combined with a menu full of things that I’m always looking for at casual eateries.
Before choosing the Halsey Street location, Carissa looked at locations in Montclair, as well as Jersey City. Carissa’s inspiration for opening an eatery of her own “had less to do with cooking and more to do with creating a place where people actually wanted to spend their time eating, relaxing, hanging out with friends, bonding with people, and just enjoying the vibe.”
Carissa has succeeded in creating nothing short of a healthy food oasis in the heart of Newark, and has a developed a varied list of loyal customers. Harvest Table serves a variety of fresh and health conscious foods and beverages such as house made granola, and baked goods, sandwiches, smoothies and fresh brewed, seasonal iced teas. Harvest Table also offers an extensive salad bar, where guest can create their own salads.