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Growing Kismet 

Side Dishes: Montpelier biz prepares to move

Published September 22, 2010 at 5:16 a.m.

It’s been a long time since Crystal Maderia, owner of Montpelier’s Kismet, started thinking about expanding her breakfast and lunch biz into a larger space. But finding the right capital-city location proved to be a challenge.

Now the search is over. On October 31, Maderia will close her café’s current location on Barre Street and, if all goes well, she’ll reopen in mid-December at 52 State Street — formerly Restaurant Phoebe. “I’ve signed the lease already,” Maderia says.

Although the core of the business will remain the same, with a strong emphasis on lovingly prepared dishes with local ingredients, Maderia says the 50-seat space will let her try new things. Besides doing more catering and hosting more events, she will open for dinner either three or five nights per week. The nighttime menu, which will change regularly, will be “really simple, sort of country fare, like what I will serve at home,” Maderia says. She plans to hire 10 new staffers for the jump to the larger location.

Expanding isn’t cheap. Although she expects a People’s United Bank loan to be approved, Maderia hopes alternative funding will allow her to keep “money circulating in the community,” she says. She recently wrote a letter to Kismet patrons seeking loans to be paid back with interest over a period of five years.

And the original Kismet space? Maderia would like to sublet it as an incubator for an up-and-coming restaurateur.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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