Local caterer Savory Occasions is soon ready to open its first brick-and-mortar cafe at 123 East Main Street in Palmyra.

Owner Heather Shellenberger, with help from a small team, has been hard at work balancing the cafe’s setup with demand for the catering service. It’s paid off well, considering the large number of 5-star ratings and glowing reviews from happy customers.

Everything served is homemade—Shellenberger shies away from prepackaged and frozen food and relies on local producers as much as possible for the ingredients. “There are a lot of pizza restaurants in the area, so we wanted to change things up,” she says, listing menu items like paninis and pulled pork.

“We’re looking to open in mid-May, possibly early June.”

One of the menu item that is planned for the opening: biscotti made with chocolate almonds and cranberries. (Heather Shellenberger)

The cafe also boasts a French press and European-style brews, something Shellenberger has wanted to add to the area’s coffee selection.

The catering service has been particularly popular at weddings, although there are plenty of other events that Savory Occasions has served, including everything from corporate events to small family parties. The cafe menu will be smaller than the complete catering menu, which is quite expansive and includes cuisine from Mexico, Italy, and the Mediterranean.

Though the catering business has operated in various forms for a number of years, the cafe has been in the works for a few months. The building at 123 East Main Street was formerly the home of the Top That sandwich restaurant. Shellenberger and her team have done quite a bit to renovate the interior since moving in.

Shellenberger hopes to serve the community with more than food – she is also implementing programs to be hosted by the cafe on a weekly basis to local students. These events would be held on Mondays and include activities like preparing food, baking, and team-building exercises.

In addition to this, Shellenberger is proud to note that teachers, school administrators, and service workers can stop in for a free coffee of any type during the café’s regular hours, which will run Tuesday to Saturday during breakfast and lunch.

“I want the cafe to be a feel-good place,” says Shellenberger. “Somewhere the community can gather and relax.”

Check out the Savory Occasions Facebook page to stay up-to-date with progress on the cafe’s opening or to schedule a catering appointment.

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...


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