Many local food businesses have learned to pivot and have worked hard to create new ways of serving their customers while following the required rules of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Add to the list Tony Kanterakis, owner of Local Greek on Leigh Avenue and its offshoot, Small Bites by Local Greek on Nassau Street.
Local Greek has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Kanterakis has managed to reopen Small Bites for curbside pickup by merging the two menus for takeout and delivery. Customers can choose from the casual menu offered by Small Bites as well as the popular Greek entrees served at Local Greek including mousakas, pastitsio, spinach pie, and souvlaki, plus vegetarian dishes including veggie papoutsakia and stuffed peppers. Offering the dual menus has boosted business at Small Bites by 30 to 40 percent, he said.
The restaurants also are well known for their popular Greek pastries that are made on the premises using the recipes of his mother. Kanterakis has added to those by creating a small grocery store of items for sale that can also be included in deliveries by Door Dash or Grub Hub.
“I looked up and down the street and realized there is nowhere nearby that people can pick up items like olive oils, cheeses, honey, or olives,” Kanterakis said. So he set up what he calls “Market in the Middle by Local Greek,” which is reminiscent of the New Athens Corner Bakery and specialty store previously owned by his mother in Highland Park.
Customers will find breads, juices, stuffed grape leaves, coffee, crackers and rice at the Small Bites market. Kanterakis plans to increase the inventory by adding fresh vegetables and other items.
To support those in need, Small Bites is providing salads and sandwiches to the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Kindness Project in Princeton for distribution at the organization’s pop-up store on Witherspoon Street three times each week. The nonprofit was created by Princeton resident Blair Miller as a way to meet residents’ needs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Local Greek opened in 2017, and Kanterakis opened Small Bites at 20 Nassau Street last August.
To order from the dual menu or grocery items offered by Small Bites, visit the website smallbitesbylocalgreek.com or call 609-279-1455. Small Bites is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.