By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Patti Siciliano started Red Bank’s Funk and Standard with a clear goal in mind. A lover of food, she always had a dream to branch out beyond clothes and accessories, the main draw at her Broad Street store.
But it wasn’t until now, while wading through a challenging economic wave, that she decided to work toward it.
Today Siciliano unveils Yummy Yummy Good Stuff, a hyperhealthy addition to her downtown shop.
“It’s always been a part of the original plan. That’s why challenges, I find, are gifts. They drive us forward and make us better,” Siciliano said. “In tough times you just say, alright, let’s do it.”
Yummy Yummy or Yum, as Siciliano calls it, in hopes that it’ll catch on is like a mini nutritional center amid Funk and Standard’s assortment of clothes, tchotchkes and gifts. The bar will offer a line of fresh juices and smoothies, soups, desserts from Keyport-based bakery Papa Ganache, vegan pastries from Zaitooni’s Deli and a selection of Adam Sobel’s popular Cinnamon Snail mobile vegan eatery.
It’s all organic and vegan, which wasn’t part of Siciliano’s original plan, but her change to a vegan lifestyle over the last few years pushed her to tap into this niche market.
“A food concept was always part of the dream,” she said, “but before I was vegan, the dream was corn dogs and nachos.”
Her goal is too parlay this small venture into a staple across the country, she said.
“I have a vision for what I could see it being, and I know it can work,” said Siciliano, who also has a store in Westfield. “This will always be the flagship, but I’d like to spin this off into something like a food chain.”
The timing to expand, of course, goes against the gravity of today’s economy. For Siciliano, though, this is the time to try and turn a negative into a positive.
“Red Bank, right now, is really quiet, so we want to capitalize on the local business, the office people,” she said. “People have been waiting for a while.”
Siciliano is making other changes to stay progressive. On Tuesday, she kicked off a monthly series of book discussions, the Funk and Standard Bookworms Club. Last November, she began selling vinyl records, which surprisingly has been a hit. And coming soon, she’ll start hosting workshop on various topics, from religion to eating habits to knitting.
That’s a lot to handle for a small business owner who already runs around a good twelve hours a day. But that is what Siciliano says she thrives on.
“I don’t feel like it’s pressure,” she said. “It’s fun and it’s beautiful.”
Siciliano said Yummy Yummy will open at 8a, Monday through Friday and close when F&S does, at 9p during the week and 11p on weekends.