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Start the day in a healthy way

New Sunderland café offers organic ... to go

  • Wild Roots, a new café in Sunderland, has opened on Route 116 near the intersection with North Amherst Road. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Inside Wild Roots, a new cafe in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Wild Roots in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • The bakery case at Wild Roots, a new cafe in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo



For the Bulletin
Thursday, April 27, 2017

SUNDERLAND — It’s sometimes logistically difficult to prioritize health in today’s fast-paced world. Wild Roots, a new organic “to-go” cafe just across the Sunderland Bridge, is seeking to change that.

“We’re morphing into what fits in between a deli and a cafe,” said co-owner Kelli Eriksen on April 19, seated on a bench in front of a window during the cafe’s soft opening. “The premise behind our cafe is that we wanted comfort food at an organic level. We serve sandwiches, we serve soups, acai bowls, breakfast sandwiches, smoothies and salads.”

Behind her, a few customers looked at a large menu dominating a wall next to the register, and a glass case with pastries inside. The location, just off Route 116, across from Sunderland Corner Store, has plenty of parking.

Wild Roots is a family affair, continuing a tradition of entrepreneurship that stretches back generations. Eriksen opened her first beauty salon at age 21 and, for the past 13 years, has owned Pure Beauty Studio across the river in South Deerfield. She co-owns Wild Roots with her mother, Sandi Waskewicz, owner of Alexlee House, a wedding venue, in Greenfield.

Eriksen, who’s married with “two kids, one on the way,” said they saw “a big hole in the area that’s not being filled” and decided to fill it. “There’s nothing around here that serves (organic) breakfast and lunch. We have kids who are in a rush, but don’t have time to make anything,” she said.

When it’s fully up and running, the cafe will sell teas and coffee by Esselon Coffee Roasting Co., prepared meals, sandwiches and soups, all-natural Boar’s Head meats, various healthy drinks, and other organic foods.

Inside, the cafe will have a few tables for those who want to eat in. Eriksen said there will be outdoor seating during warmer months.

“We’re also trying to cater to people who have allergies — there are a lot of gluten-free options coming in,” she said. “We’re trying to help people who have dietary restrictions.”

For now, Eriksen said the business is starting slowly, with a limited menu, word-of-mouth advertising and weekday hours from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. At some point, the cafe will probably be open on the weekends, with longer hours, she said.

“We’re taking our time and growing into it — listening to the public,” Eriksen continued, noting, “we’re looking to grow this space and then look to the future. It’s a work in progress.”

For more information, visit Wild Roots’ Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/wildrootsmeals, or online at www.wildrootsmeals.com.