WILKES-BARRE – For those who may be aware of the events of our neighbor in the northeast, you may have noticed that in Scranton there is a barber shop Loyalty Barbershop and Eden – A Vegan Café, as well as downtown Wilkes-Barre. This is not a strange coincidence.
Owner and chef Eden, 49-year-old Christian Pilosi of Old Forge, said a neighbor from the Scranton Loyalty Barbershop encouraged him to broaden his horizons at Wilkes-Barre, as Loyalty did.
When Eden’s original location was well established, it opened in 2008, the Wilkes Barre location was secured on South Main Street, almost across the street from the Rhône Center and Ray Sims Wilkes University. While the student apartments occupy the upper levels, the owners of the buildings wanted to have a shop window, and in October 2019, Eden’s Wilkes-Barre opened.
And things went well for about five months, until it happened in March 2020.
After the pandemic hit, Pilosi said: “No one really knew what was going on and what to do. We had to close for dinner, the students were sent home, and we stayed open to take away, but of course it was very, very slow, especially in the beginning. ”
He went on to explain that Eden acted in a tight spot, and although things eventually settled down, the business was not at all what it was before COVID. But Eden persevered, as Pilosi said. “We kept pushing and skating with punches, doing what we had to do, and just kept doing it.”
Some steps taken by Pilosi and his team to adapt to the script included installing plexiglass on the order counter, launching an export and delivery service via GrubHub, launching special promotions and gift cards at a discount and of course requiring masks for all employees and customers.
Pilosi also noted, “The niche we’re in, what we call the“ New American Vegan Comfort Food, ”has definitely helped because we have a very loyal customer base, and if you want what we offer, you have a significant degrees need to get this from us ”.
And, of course, help was offered from the Diamond City Partnership. Thanks to DCP, Eden was able to obtain funding for the purchase of outdoor dining tables so that customers could enjoy the weather when it was good while maintaining social distance. Most recently, Eden took part in the “Restaurant Week”, which took place from 4 to 10 April. In this case, Eden offered a 20% discount with a mention of the program.
Pilosi said of DCP and their commitment to promoting the city center and its business: “We enjoyed working with them and we still do it in different ways.”
As we move forward in 2022, Pilosi says Eden – A Vegan Café occupies about 75% of pre – pandemic business, although its attitude has been optimistic. “A lot has changed the landscape as more and more people work from home and don’t get lunch and dinner as often as before, so we just need to adapt and ride with it the way it is,” he said. “We are happy to still be here and we will always continue!”
By the end of the year, Eden hopes to regain its position, as will many other small businesses. Pilosi was adamant that people check the city center and see everything it has to offer, from small businesses and attractions to locals who give it their strength day in and day out. Eden is also looking to expand to open up a little earlier and offer breakfast options.
And when Cinca de Mayo was just around the corner, Pilosi said, “In the last week of April through May, we will also be preparing our taco pizza and special burritos.” In addition, you can expect changeable weekly promotions and unique cuisine from a place that believes not only in itself but in society as a whole and supports each other in difficult times.
Currently, Eden – A Vegan Café, located at 136 S. Main St., is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can also find Eden on Instagram and Facebook. by searching edenavegancafe.