Lindsey and Matt Tewanger jokingly refer to their Clintonville home as "Tulane Farms."
That's because the couple, who opened the Cookie Cravings Bakery in Italian Village two years ago, took classes at City Folk's Farm Shop on organic gardening from Joseph Swain of Swainway Farm in order to be able to grow items in their yard. They wanted to use the freshest of ingredients in adding to the offerings at their business, which they own along with Matt's mother, Joan Tewanger.
"It was the freshest we could ever get, and fantastic, so now we're looking to do it this year on a little bigger scale," Lindsey Tewanger said.
In fact, the Tewanger trio will do several things on a somewhat bigger scale. They have taken the next step, renaming the operation at 226 E. Third Ave. Cravings Carryout Cafe.
With seating for just six to eight people, Lindsey Tewanger said, it was important to emphasize the carryout aspect of the enterprise.
"When we first started, we only had cookies and coffee, but then the neighborhood taught us they wanted more things," she said.
A year and a half ago -- about six months after Cookie Cravings Bakery opened -- the owners decided to add crepes. The advent of Cravings Carryout Cafe means the addition of seasonal sandwiches on housemade brioche as well as wraps, soups and brunch items.
The new menu also ushers in expanded hours. The cafe will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for brunch.
"We're going to be doing more or less the same stuff, but we're going to kind of build on that," Matt Tewanger said. "We're just trying to do little spins off stuff that's on the menu now.
"We're always trying to tweak things and make a spin on a classic."
Matt and Lindsey are veterans of the restaurant world, having met at Basi Italia in the Short North, where he was a sous chef and she worked up front. Matt Tewanger also worked as a sous chef at the Worthington Inn and completed an apprenticeship at the Refectory Restaurant and Bistro on the Northwest Side.
The couple moved to Clintonville from Harrison West three years ago.
When they decided to start their own business, Lindsey Tewanger said, they looked at locations all over the city before settling on the small brick building with hardwood floors in Italian Village.
"It just spoke to us -- and we're only five minutes from our home in Clintonville, if there's no traffic," she said.
Although the place is small, Lindsey Tewanger said she, her husband and her mother-in-law hope it will lead to big things.
"Matt and I would both love down the road a place with a bunch of tables and people sitting around, more of a restaurant," she said. "That would be a goal for us, but for now, this little spot is fine. I feel like this little spot has been a great step for us. We'll know when the time is right to expand down the road.
"I feel like the learning curve has been great for us."