Real estate developer and entrepreneur Violetta Wyszynski is opening Crave Nature’s Eatery, a fast casual, quick serve café specializing in healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch options six days a week at Viva Plaza, located at 1891 Brunswick Ave, (Business Rt 1) in Lawrenceville Twp., NJ. The gorgeous 2,000 square-foot eatery is slated to open with a ribbon cutting with Lawrenceville Township Mayor John T. Ryan and other dignitaries at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 25.
“It was always a dream of mine to own a café with delicious food and amazing ambiance — a place to gather, relax and unwind while enjoying healthy, satisfying food and excellent coffee,” said Wyszynski. The 45-year-old mother of three says she was bitten by the restaurant bug a long time ago when she worked as a server at various Garden State establishments. “I always loved that energy and joy that comes when you gather people around the table for good food,” added Wyszynski. “I’m definitely a people pleaser, and I’m super excited to host all of Lawrenceville and the surrounding communities to enjoy our healthy, delicious cuisine in the coming weeks.”
Crave is adjacent to Viva Ballroom Dance Fitness, which Wyszynski launched in 2008, when she purchased Viva Plaza. She owns and operates it along with The Beauty Bar Design Studio, which is also on-site.
“There’s always been a demand for a little cafe here. But there’s never been a place nearby for patrons of Viva to grab a healthy snack or smoothie, until now,” Violetta notes.
Crave will feature a healthy menu, but her Polish lineage will also be woven into the menu. Violetta hails from Glubczyce, a tiny village in Southern Poland, but her family emigrated to the U.S. in 1990 when she was 14-years-old, first settling in Newark before making Mercer County her home.
Crave’s menu will offer fresh juices, smoothies, freshly roasted Bucks County Coffee Company coffee, pastries, and Polish treats, but the cornerstone will be a selection of healthy breakfast and lunch bowls and build-your-own salad/grain bowls with warm and cold protein bases (quinoa, garlic cilantro chicken, eggs, chimichurri flank steak, Mojo roasted pulled pork, grilled shrimp), as well as a myriad of healthy sides and toppings such as parmesan Brussels sprouts, crunch shiitakes, Cajun cauliflower, roasted eggplant, truffle mushrooms, sweet potato noodles, cojita, vegan cheese, edamame, and spicy roasted chickpeas, to name a few.
Leading the kitchen is Chef Elizabeth Martini, who’s enjoyed stints at Lambertville Station Restaurant & Inn and most recently, Wildflour Bakery and Café, also in Lambertville.
“We pride ourselves in providing options for various diets including vegetarian, meat lovers, gluten free, and even sugar free desserts – the choices are endless – but most importantly, everything is fresh and delicious!”
Crave Nature’s Eatery will seat more than 50 diners, with 10 seats at a window bar that opens out to Route 1 and an outdoor dining area under a pergola for up to 30 guests for alfresco dining when weather permits. The interior features live edge table tops, reclaimed wood paneling, a Brazilian teak floor and a beautiful live edge countertop where guests can place their orders and purchase grab-and-go options.
While the pandemic shut down many businesses, it was during the height of covid that Wyszynski decided to open Crave.
“I know that it was a crazy idea as many entrepreneurs were closing their businesses and I decided to open a new one,” said Violetta. “One thing was certain: I knew I had to follow my heart and my passion.”
She says she couldn’t have done this without Samantha Filip, co-creator and Operations Director, and the daughter of one of her best friends.
“Together we came up with the vision for Crave and brought it to life. Still, it has been a very difficult journey. The pandemic has made building projects a nightmare, including ours, and the cost to get everything completed kept rising throughout the process. However, we feel there’s a real need for a place like Crave in our community. It is our mission to share healthy, delicious and affordable food in our warm and welcoming atmosphere, and right now we’re merely days away from realizing our dream and opening.”
Crave established a fundraising campaign for Ukraine (Mercer’s Mission for Ukraine). Violetta is collecting supplies and donating a portion of her profits indefinitely to fund the needs of Ukrainian military personnel.
Crave Nature’s Eatery will be open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Weekday hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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