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Win-Win Situation

Side Dishes: The Onion City gets a market


Winooski residents have long bemoaned their lack of a place to get groceries downtown. That’s about to end: Winooski Falls Market & Deli is set to open in six weeks, says co-owner Larry Rondeau. Builders are hard at work filling what was just a shell with everything Rondeau and his business partner, Laurie Chicoine, need to open a full grocery and deli, complete with a menu of soups, sandwiches, hot food and creemees.

Rondeau and Chicoine previously owned Simone’s Market & Deli in Shelburne. Both Winooski-ites themselves, they saw the “Your Business Here” signs in the Keen’s Crossing building as a perfect opportunity to take the next step after they decided to close Simone’s this winter. They lucked out; the space destined for the market is the last one in the building that can accommodate the hood system necessary to run a kitchen.

Rondeau and Chicoine met while working as cooks at Winooski’s Our Lady of Providence Residence, a convent and assisted-living facility. Rondeau says he and Chicoine will prepare some of the sisters’ faves at the market, including oft-requested soups and Reuben sandwiches.

For the more profane among us, Rondeau also plans on making Memphis-style pulled pork and Texas beef brisket. He’ll use the pork in a spicy, Cajun-style sandwich, also filled with chicken, two kinds of sausage and hot peppers. More traditional sandwiches will feature turkey roasted in-house. Expect “an extensive line” of panini and burgers.

Rondeau says he anticipates using local produce and baked goods when he can, though he adds that, with all the improvements he’s making to the space — not to mention buying a creemee machine — “Money is gonna be strained for a little while.” For the same reason, he and Chicoine expect to hire only a few helpers early on, and to make many products from scratch. Those will include biscuits and jam, perfect for people who want something to grab and go before hopping on a bus at the nearby stop.

Sounds like a lot for a beginning business to take on — and Rondeau doesn’t dispute it. “That’s kind of my problem,” he says. “I have too many good ideas.”