NORTHPORT— Friends and former coworkers Stacy Schlensker and Nicole Pearse were catching up on each other’s lives over a drink last fall when they realized they both had the same dream: to open a food truck or a small restaurant in the Midcoast that provided fresh, affordable food to an under-served community. Their dream turned into the opening of The Stone Brick Oven Kitchen on Route 1 in Northport, just past Wentworth’s Grocery, on March 1.
“Before I got married at Point Lookout in Northport I spent a lot of time driving back and forth from Belfast to Northport and there really wasn’t anything that delivered around here,” said Schlensker. “So, I got Nicole and we both took a look at the place that used to be Pizza Permare and we knew it was what we wanted—a business with a delivery aspect. We’re both hard workers and put our savings together to invest in this business.”
The wood-fired pizza oven that formerly served Pizza Permare, has been the workhorse of their operation. The oven, built by former owner Bryant Hall, was made from a special firebrick called Le Panyol derived from quart-laden clay from a quarry in France.
The new The Stone Brick Oven Kitchen menu is simple and affordable with fresh-made pizzas and calzones starting at $11, a variety of salads at $10, and savory handheld pies at $6. In addition to their “build your own” menu, they offer all homemade mac and cheese bowls, chilis and soups, as well as from-scratch desserts such as mason jar cheesecakes for $5. The food is plentiful and good and most sit-in orders will requires a take-home box.
The women did some renovations to The Stone before opening, turning the humble interior into a cozy, sun-lit, welcoming space with several sections, including a new sit-down counter for those on the go. Local artist Marcia Hancock’s photographs grace the walls, as part of their commitment to the community and they said they’re open to more artists.
Both women are self-taught in making fresh pizza dough, having never having done it before. “When we got into the space January 1, we spent about a month of menu testing and that was the fun part,” said Schlensker. “We pride ourselves on fresh ingredients and once the summer gets going, we’ll be sourcing as much as we can locally.”
“We also want to give a shout out to our staff,” said Schlensker. “Everyone works really hard and really well together.”
The restaurant carries all Maine-made craft beers and wines in cans, ranging from $4-6. “We do also offer PBR and Bud Lite, because they are Maine staples,” added Pearse.
The public has been enthusiastic for the new restaurant’s opening. “We’ve been getting a lot of feedback about how the process are great, but the food is amazing,” said Pearse. “A lot of people are just excited to have a restaurant they can pop in and grab something to take home or that delivers so close.”
The Stone Brick Oven Kitchen offers delivery within 10 miles for a nominal fee, free delivery within that range to businesses on Mondays and even a “free Wednesday delivery” for customers within range. “Just something to get people over Hump Day,” said Schlensker.
For more information, visit: TheStoneBrickOvenKitchen.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org