HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. – Amanda and Matthew Fichera are making the old Harrington Park Market on LaRoche Avenue into their own shop — Harrington Park Homemade .
The white interior charms with its tin ceilings and porcelain enamel wall panels.
“It’s so antique,” said Amanda, who grew up in Old Tappan. “I love the feeling of this market.”
But it’s the associations and good memories that come with the place that sold the couple on it, too. The butcher, who sold prime meats at the location, was there for more than 50 years.
That’s long enough for Amanda’s mother and three aunts, who grew up in the borough and still live in the area, to remember him.
“My mom always talked about how much she loved Harrington Park and how she always wanted to move back,” Amanda said. “Everyone who’s lived here loves this town. No one ever has anything bad to say about Harrington Park.”
So Amanda, previously a preschool teacher, knew it was the place she wanted to raise her family. She and Matthew, a former golf pro, have two children, Matthew, 3, and Lucy, six months.
The couple wants to be part of the fabric of the community in a healthful, enhancing way. Harrington Park Homemade, scheduled for a soft opening June 30, is about filling needs.
“We’re going to have organic produce and essentials like milk, bread, and eggs,” Amanda said, who added there’s nowhere else in town to get them.
“I’m also going to make meals for busy families,” she added, “or even individuals who aren’t in the mood to cook.”
Her specialty is family-style meals, not something one would be served in a restaurant. One example: salmon with quinoa, salad, and a vegetable.
The idea is that people will go to Harrington Park Homemade for something they’d otherwise get at their mom’s house.
Since her mom and aunts are Italian, they have great recipes, said Amanda, who intends to use them. Indeed all four women in the older generation will come by and help her cook and watch the children.
Amanda also plans on homemade baked goods made in a nut-free kitchen so she can bake birthday cakes for children with nut allergies.
Harrington Park Homemade is still coming together on the inside, but its exterior is hard to miss. The couple has started to sell an array of flowers, which already adorn the front walkway and line the side of the brick building.