Nestled in the Jordan Commons Shopping Center is Ivy’s Simply Homemade, a store filled with the sweet aroma of Mom’s kitchen whether it’s chicken parmesan, portabella mushrooms or the soup of the day.
32-year-old Ivy Mellow serves as owner and chef of a business specializing in delicious to-go food orders.
She has been in the restaurant business since the age of 14.
“Over the years I realized I loved to cook. I went into sales for a couple of years and I loved that too,” Mellow said.
In November 2010, she first considered opening her business after visiting a similar store in Westerly and “felt there was in a need in the (Waterford) community” for a store.
After buying a coffee at the adjacent Dunkin’ Donuts, Mellow discovered the new home for her business, which she opened in May 2011.
While she originally thought the business would be centered on dinners for mothers with kids in sports, her business clientele includes a variety of customers for both lunch and dinner.
“I have customers who say it’s cheaper to buy here than to purchase the potatoes and beef at the supermarket,” Mellow said.
Customers can choose from grab-and-go wraps, soups, creamy clam chowder, six lunch salads, as well as pasta, chicken, fish, beef and vegetarian entrees.
“My sister Amy works here and does healthier options,” Mellow said, adding that “while we are not a gluten-free facility, we are very conscientious in creating gluten-free products.”
Half of the entrees are made gluten-free, such as the pulled pork, grilled pesto chicken breast, balsamic-glazed flank steak and salmon.
Also assisting with the cooking is Ivy’s mom, Sheryl, and Ivy’s boyfriend, Bill Ernst.
Folks can purchase entrees from the store’s refrigerator and put them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
The entrees can also be placed in the microwave for a shorter duration after removing the tin foil.
They can also call ahead to reserve entrees, request custom entrees or get the entree hot when they arrive.
Ivy’s delivers larger lunch orders to doctors, schools and businesses.
Some of the delectable homemade deserts are made at Ivy’s while others are from David Glass of South Windsor, who recently retired.
Gluten-free desserts include crustless cheesecake and different cupcakes.
Ivy’s business also does catering for graduation, cocktail, and birthday parties as well as family reunions.
“We’ve done catering every weekend since the middle of May,” Mellow said, adding that her business was one of seven vendors in the recent fall harvest festival at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, which was attended by more than 2,000 people.
To show her support for the local community, Mellow donates to the local fire departments, sports teams and dances as well as the Waterford and East Lyme Police Departments.
Some of the upcoming seasonal selections folks can look forward to include butternut squash ravioli, macaroni and cheese with bacon, apples and blue cheese, and a number of soups.