Randolph’s Newest Place To Gather

Melissa Brown and husband Nick's goal is to make Nourished, a safe place to gather and spend time with other community members. Within a few short months of the late November opening, a knitting group, a Bible study, a Girl Scout troop and others have held meetings in the cafe. The couple hosts a bi-monthly children's story and craft time and weekly open mic nights and invite other groups to schedule activities at their business. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

RANDOLPH — “This was totally God-led,” says Melissa Brown of Nourished, a business she opened with her husband recently in Randolph. “I said if God wants this, He will have to provide.”

Melissa and her husband, Nick, prayed they would find a building in which to house Radiantly You, a business where they manufacture and sell natural products for the family. When a building that seemed like the right fit came up for taxes, the couple set a price they felt was affordable. Nick attended the county tax auction prepared to pay no more than the price he and his wife had set. When the amount had been reached, Brown backed away from the bidding.

Unknown to the couple, a building a few doors down the street was the next to be auctioned. After the husband felt led to bid on the second building, he walked away as the new owner.

When they inspected what they had purchased, the couple had no idea what would occupy the storefront, but knew the kitchen and basement would be perfect for Radiantly You.

“I prayed about what to do with the front,” says the wife. “I knew I needed to nourish people and provide a place for people to hang out.”

This delicious Turkey Cranberry Panini is one of the offerings at Nourished. Submitted photo

After the plan was made, the couple assessed and sold unneeded kitchen equipment, which provided enough money to cover the cost they had paid for the building. They hired men from the local Amish community to gut the entire space, including removal of some interior walls. In the process a beautiful, old brick wall was exposed and the building was rewired. Two small rooms in the front of the restaurant have been kept intact to provide a space for families or meetings desiring privacy. Both rooms face the street and have a floor to ceiling window giving ample light and a feeling of spaciousness. One of the rooms has a high counter with stools and the other a has a table, made from a five-paneled door and chairs. Sliding barn doors were installed for added privacy.

All of the furnishings are repurposed and most have a story. A buffet serves as a beverage station in the main meeting room. Wooden booths with high backs are from Grant House Tavern, which was once owned by Ulysses Grant’s best friend and which the 18th president frequented in the 1800s. A possum belly table, that was salvaged from an estate sale at a tumble-down farm, has been refinished by an Amish craftsman.

Vintage art hangs on the walls throughout the eating establishment. Stained glass windows from a mid-1800s house in Fredonia are used for menu boards. An old black rotary dial telephone has been placed on one of the tables for a centerpiece.

“Nourished is not just a coffee shop. We’re not a restaurant. We consider it a safe place to come and gather and spend time with other community members,” says Melissa.

The business employs fourteen people and has free wifi.

A sign hanging in Nourished gives a definition of the cafe's purpose. Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

“We’ve hired a lot of high school students. I’m so impressed with our teenagers,” says the business-owner. “They say this job has allowed them to meet community members.”

In the short time Nourished has been up and running, a lot of activity has taken place, with much of it being weekly, bi-weekly or monthly events. A story time for families with young children takes place the first and third Wednesday at 10 a.m.

This is a fun activity time for the children, which includes craft time. An open mic night is held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday where members of the community are invited to share talents, poetry and singing. A Bible Study takes place at 7 p.m. that same day. On Wednesdays, a Girl Scout troop uses the facility and a knitters’ club meets there on Thursday at 11 a.m.. Several local meetings have taken place there, but the Browns would like to see more groups set up events at Nourished, which they will be happy to list on the events calendar.

Catering is a new addition to the services Nourished provides and has quickly grown in popularity. In the first few weeks they catered business meetings from Olean to Dunkirk. Catering can be scheduled through the app, which is offering $25 off any Nourished catering order throughout spring. The owner says she will consider catering weddings and larger events, as well as small meetings.

Another welcome addition the Main Street business has brought to the Randolph community is holiday flowers, with a very successful recent Valentine’s Day sale.

‘We sold out on Valentine’s Day. We plan to have a flower cart this summer with locally grown flowers and others that are brought in,” she says with a smile. “The three-course meal we did (for Valentine’s Day) went amazingly well. We plan to do two farm to table meals per month by reservation throughout the summer. Peter Dauphin is growing heirloom garden vegetables for us and we will be purchasing through a gardening program at the Randolph Academy. We want to source locally and offer local seasonal food.”

The mother of five had not intended to serve dinners and thought she would just offer soup and sandwiches. During the winter months, S’Mores stations were available allowing the customer to make the sweet treat at the table. For the warmer months, root beer floats will be offered as well as Amish baked goods.

All of the bread used is freshly made and gluten-free menu options are available.

“It has grown to more than I had envisioned, but we were be waiting to see what Randolph wanted. Nettie Puleff of The Mustard Seed has been giving me ideas,” she adds. “Main Street is being revitalized. We have a new embroidery shop, new hairdresser, new gym and new laundromat. The new business owners are excited to work with the town and are looking to make Randolph a destination place. We have a gem, but we aren’t maximizing it.”

Although starting a business would seem daunting to many, the Browns have experience at starting from the ground up, first with Radiantly You and more recently Straw Hat Project. Straw Hat Project is the sale of custom Amish-built tiny homes and cabins that Mrs. Brown designs to meet the customer’s needs. The business was launched in 2018 with sales exploding after the couple was featured on WKBW-TV.

“We sold more in January than all of last year,” says Melissa. “We only have room for two more in 2019.”

Ten percent of the profits from The Straw Hat Project goes back to the Amish community to assist with their medical fund and to help with other needs.

Nick, a chemical engineer is a passionate entrepreneur.

“He is a serial entrepreneur. I knew from the moment I met him,” says his wife. “His calling is to build businesses and to help create jobs and opportunities.”

The businesswoman has shared both the Chicken Soup and Bone Broth recipe, used to make it, which may be found at the end of the article.

“My background is that of a health coach. For me, nourishing people is giving them great tasting favorites with a healthy twist. They are getting an underlying health benefit of the bone broth.”

Nourished is located at 143 Main St., Randolph, 356-5036.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1/3 c tahini

1/4 c water

1/4 c chopped roasted peppers

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1 garlic clove, minced

15 1/2 oz can chickpeas

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with vegetables and tortilla chips.

Chicken Bone Broth

T butter

9.5 oz onion, quartered

1 carrot, quartered

1 celery stalk, quartered

3 cloves garlic

6 c water

Place in crockpot and set on low for 24 to 48 hours. Strain. Discard vegetables.

Chicken Soup

11 oz zucchini

9 oz carrot

6.5 oz celery

21 oz pepper

5 oz onion

2 cloves garlic

2 T olive oil

2 c chicken broth



1 can corn

1 can basil, garlic and oregano diced tomatoes

1 tsp parsley

1 ¢ tsp onion powder

34.5 oz bone broth

14 oz chicken

Saute vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes in olive oil. Add garlic and celery leaves and sautÈ for 5 to10 minutes more. Add chicken broth, tomato, corn, chicken and bone broth. Heat thoroughly.

Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

1 c olive oil

3 T chopped dill

4 tsp lemon zest

1/2 c fresh lemon juice (6 lemons)

1 tsp sugar



1 c apple cider vinegar

Add ingredients, in order given, in medium-size bowl. Whisk together.

Turkey Cranberry Panini

cranberry mayonnaise

2 slices bread

2 slices provolone cheese

3 oz turkey

Spread cranberry mayonnaise on two slices of bread. Place 1 slice provolone on one slice of bread. Top with turkey and then another slice of cheese. Top with a handful of spinach. Put remaining bread on top and place on panini machine. Cook until golden brown and cheese melted. Cut diagonally.

Caesar Salad or Wrap

2 leaves Romaine lettuce

6 strips grilled chicken breast, lightly seasoned

Caesar dressing

grated parmesan cheese



cherry tomatoes, halved

Place the 2 leaves of Romaine on the plate. Fill with chicken. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with parmesan and top with cherry tomatoes.