The hamburgers at Yvette and Anthony Cafaro’s Kind Burgers are certified safe for customers with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.  (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)


At the newly opened Kind Burgers on River Road in Fair Haven are names carved into the wooden tables, molding and trim.

“These are the people that helped us clean out of Sea Bright,” said restaurant owner Anthony Cafaro, referring to the the place where Kind Burgers originally set up shop, just 10 weeks before Hurricane Sandy struck. “It’s a tribute to our family, friends, and customers. That’s who this is.”

With the help of the local community, the Carafos were able to reopen their family burger joint six weeks ago. Yvette Cafaro said a family from the Holy Cross community put together a fundraiser to help rebuild Kind Burgers.

“For anyone who did donate, we put their name in the restaurant to make a community feel to it,” said Yvette.

“We wanted to be here,” said Anthony. “We realized that our customers come from Rumson, Fair Haven, and Little Silver. It didn’t make any sense to be in Sea Bright as a seasonal spot.”

Yvette went to school for restaurant management and Anthony’s family owns Italian restaurants in Brooklyn. But he strayed from the expected path by opening a burger joint because he said he felt the area needed it.

The “kind” in the eatery’s name is meant to signify various qualities inherent in the staff, service, and food. “We wanted a name that encompassed our pricing, quality of meat, and quality of service,” said Anthony.

Along those lines, the Cafaro’s have built their business around a sensitivity to food allergies. Kind Burgers offers a line of gluten-free burger buns, which are also dairy, nut and soy free.

“People that have certain food allergies can’t eat burgers, my child included,” said Anthony. His daughter Toni, 6, has a gluten, soy and dairy allergy.

“We found about it a year and a half ago,” when the couple had already decided to open a burger business, said Yvette. “It added a whole different side to the business.”

“We took six different classes and tests and created a system in the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination,” said Yvette.

Kind Burgers uses separate toasters and area where the gluten-free sandwiches are made, she said. “We have to train all of our staff in that way,” she said.

The entire restaurant is nut-free, and frying is done with 100-percent canola oil. The fryers are also completely gluten-free.

“For celiac patients who are highly allergic, any crumb can make them sick. So there’s no cross contamination,” she said.

After being tested on their course, Kind Burgers has been certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

“It validates our effort and people can come to this restaurant if they have health concerns,” said Anthony.

Cafaro said he is not yet looking to expand into other stores. He said he wants to concentrate of the Fair Haven location and continue to make sure they are doing the best job they can.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said recently. “Last week, two parents told me this was their kid’s first hamburger. It’s very rewarding for my wife and I, because we worked hard at this.”