I poked my head in the store front home of Comfortfood a few weeks ago. I was in Morrisville, in a small strip center on a side street. And I wasn’t quite sure what I was in, to be honest. Part kitchen, part retail shop, full of kitchen knick knacks and a cozy sitting area.
But then there was Kim. I introduced myself and spent the next hour listening and absorbing Chef Kim Quay’s energy and enthusiasm.
“Convenient, good food doesn’t have to be expensive or full of bad ingredients,” explains Quay. Since starting her business in 2007, she makes sure her food is sourced from local farmers and producers as much as possible. This makes Comfortfood special. There are many caterers around but only a few make a concerted effort to buy their raw ingredients locally grown and produced, including meat.
Quay began her culinary career after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1991. She worked mostly in fine dining, in some of the best kitchens in Philadelphia – Jake’s, The White Dog Café, the Striped Bass – until she and a friend began a high-end catering business in Manayunk.
But marriage and her first child brought her back to Yardley where she had grown up. When it was time to go back to work (“for my sanity,” jokes Quay) she began her catering business and started selling at local farmers’ markets. There the light bulb went on. As she got to know farmers at the markets, it changed her focus. “I should be making things based on local produce,” she thought.
“I love being involved with farmers,” says Quay. She finds out what they have, or have too much of, and works with them to produce the food for Comfort Food as well as value-added foods, like jarred hot sauce from extra jalapenos she got from Tall Pines Farm in Rushland.
“It almost makes it easier because it’s based on what is available.” You’ll find local produce and meats in all Comfort Food’s dishes. Quay buys her food from farms in Bucks County and nearby New Jersey, like the Guzikowski Farm (Yardley), Purely Farm (Pipersville), Charlann Farm (Yardley), Gravity Hill Farm (Titusville, NJ), Beechwood Farm (Hopewell, NJ) and Chickadee Creek Farm (Pennington, NJ), many of them organic or transitional organic, and using sustainable farming methods.
The menu changes daily – Quay posts it on her Facebook page every day and posts a photo of the board on her blog – and is priced reasonably. It includes comfort food but goes beyond to a wide variety of dishes.
On the day I visited the menu included butternut apple bisque, white bean soup with kale and roasted peppers, tortellini jackpot soup, black bean soup with ham, pulled pork BBQ sandwich, pumpkin sage lasagna and puff pastry topped turkey pot pie. Easy to pick up on the way home, and something to please everyone.
Quay’s vision is to create a “community kitchen” in this cozy space in Morrisville. While the kitchen currently serves her catering and take-out business, she envisions the space being used for parties and farm to table dinners too.
Every weekend, she holds cooking classes for kids, and a couple of times a month she puts on classes for adults (it’s BYOB, so it’s a different vibe altogether). The latter are demonstration (as opposed to hands on) classes that include dinner, recipes and even food to take home. The subjects range from “Demystifying French Cooking,” to “Pizzas and Strombolis.”
So whether you’re looking for some quick, nutritious and delicious meals for a weekday night, or catering for a special event, Comfortfood will fit the bill in a very local way. Stop by and poke your head in, and say hi to Chef Kim.
437 Alden Ave
Open 11 am – 7 pm, Tuesday – Friday
11 am – 5 pm Saturday
Open by appointment only Sunday and Monday
ComfortFood & Kitchenette
Note: In September, 2015, ComfortFood expanded into the storefront next door to create ComfortFood & Kitchenette, a 35-seat restaurant serving lunch and limited dinner. Click here for our post about the new space.