ADVISOR PROFILE: Nicole D'Entremont, Owner of Tremont Market Cafe
To walk into Tremont Market Cafe is to know that its owner, Nicole D'Entremont, clearly has a background in architectural design. It is also evident that the build-out of the space represents an incredible investment of time, attention, and resources. The new business will serve as an incredible resource to its surrounding neighborhood and, arguably, the city as a whole. What is less obvious is the deeper commitment that Nicole and her partner, Isaias (Izzy) Almeida, have made to Lawrence and why.
Nicole remarks that, "through the study of green design and sustainable development, I encountered a pervasive challenge: how many cities struggle to provide enough fresh foods for local residents, and especially in low to middle income areas." When Izzy and Nicole bought the 10,000 square foot building on S. Union St in 2015 to house Izzy's growing woodworking business, Nicole immediately saw the same forces at play of a large population with limited options...but then began to see a possible solution. "Tremont Market Cafe features amazing local dishes, and it also endeavors to make change through food; our message is that good quality food doesn't need to be more expensive or difficult to access. To help keep costs lower, we are investing in sustainable technologies while purchasing smaller quantities of locally sourced products. These concepts help to reduce our overall impact." With 75% of the products either grown or manufactured in New England, Tremont Market Cafe is putting these values into action and directly supporting over 20 other local food businesses!
The larger story of Izzy and Nicole's investment in Lawrence goes beyond the two businesses they have brought to the city, and the nearly 20 people (almost all of them Lawrencians) that they employ between them. They first identified Lawrence for its accessibility to highways and the potential in the building they found, and they came here despite the reputation in the media. Since their introduction to the city, they have understood that the community is full of assets. For Nicole, it has been the people that have so dramatically changed her perspective. "I was initially concerned about my staffing needs and the customer base, but all of that was worry without cause; I couldn't have found better staff and our initial customers are incredibly supportive and welcoming." Having participated in EforAll's 2017 Summer Accelerator, and coordinating with the city to make improvements on an alleyway behind their property, Nicole has also connected with the robust support services that exist for small businesses in Lawrence.
Although she is still relatively new to Lawrence, Nicole likens the city to Somerville when she initially moved there around 15 years ago. "Back then it, too, had a less than good reputation, but it had invested" Nicole recalls. "Local businesses invested, educational institutions invested, local residents invested. Within time, Somerville has changed its own perception of itself. Between the schools, the businesses, the diverse industry sectors, all those ingredients are here in Lawrence...and I see that they are all stepping up. Now, as a business owner and an employer, I too, am proud to be a part of that change."
If your mouth is watering to sample some of the awesomeness on offer at Tremont Market Cafe, your wait is over as they opened their doors this month from 7am to 6pm M-F. You can order handcrafted sandwiches on local artisan bread, Ramen bowls, smoothies and so much more. Located at: 203 South Union St. in Lawrence.
UberEats will be launching on February 27th, and will feature Tremont Market Cafe as one of their new options for food delivery in the surrounding area. In some time, they will also be offering corporate catering, possible weekend family style events, and much more. Keep in touch with them for more updates and follow them at fb.com/tremontmarketcafe