GOSHEN — It’s not uncommon to see Tiffany Marcinek preparing food in the kitchen.
Whether it’s in her own space or at a friend’s house, Marcinek has long been called the go-to person for catering.
But for the past three months, she’s been focusing on her craft in a brand new kitchen of her own as part of her new food trailer, called The Ledges.
Located just down the road in the garden of the historic Marcinek House, also of the same name, Goshen serves “farm-to-cart” small plates with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The Ledges opened its window to the public in May.
“I have been a foodie and cooking enthusiast most of my life, and I decided to make this my career,” she said. “I’ve been eating food all my life – it’s always just been a natural thing.”
Marcinek credits her grandmother with helping her navigate the kitchen, but she remembers falling in love with food while watching cooking shows on TV when she was 8 years old and marveling. Some of her favorites were Julia Child and “The Frugal Gourmet” with Jeff Smith.
When Marcinek bought her home at 27 Main St. In 2010, she envisioned sharing the Dutch Colonial-style home with others. At the time, the house was in foreclosure and needed quite a few repairs to bring it up to code.
“It’s just a neat house,” she said. “I knew when I bought it that I wanted to turn the house into either a restaurant, a bed and breakfast or a wedding or small party venue.”
Since moving into the house and fixing it up, Marcinek has found some postcards from libraries showing the house in 1911.
On the front of one postcard, the house is referred to as “The Ledges,” which inspired Marcinek to name her dining car after the historic home.
For the past two decades, Marcinec has worked in the field of ophthalmology as a surgical coordinator at Northampton Ophthalmologists. Although she had always dreamed of opening her own restaurant, it was only recently that she pursued her vision. During the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, she lost three loved ones to unrelated causes, including her mother, and her perspective began to change.
Her children were finally at the right age where a new business venture wouldn’t interfere too much with their daily lives and her finances were sound, and her husband, Paul Marcinek, offered his support.
“My mother was only 66 years old when she died, and I realized that life is short… What am I waiting for?” She said. “Things fell into place all at once.”
In 2021, she took charge of the business and formed an LLC.
When she first bought her food truck, the purchase included a truck to tow the trailer, but Marcinek sold it. Because her current vehicle isn’t equipped to tow a trailer, the food truck remains stationary, for now, at least.
She also attended Holyoke Community College’s free six-week chef training program MGM Culinary Arts as a way to see how you would do in a professional restaurant environment.
On top of working at Eye Physicians of Northampton and attending the training program, she said, she took a job at The Rapids Bar & Grill in Huntington, which has since closed when the building’s owner sought to sell the building.
She officially opened The Ledges this spring with the help of her 20-year-old son, Jaden Kobe, whom she calls “the face of the company” because he runs the register and interacts with all the customers. In addition to helping his mother, Kobe, a business administration major at HCC, is taking private flight lessons in Northampton to one day become a pilot.
The company currently offers soups, salads, sandwiches and small plates. Some regular items include organic and nitrate-free beef sausages, quarter-pound black angus beef, quarter-pound vegan quinoa patties, grilled cheese with melted fontina with a choice of white, wheat, rye, or gluten-free bread, and garden salads with vegetables from Pause & Pivot Farm in Williamsburg. Prices range from $4 to $5 for hot dogs, $7 for burgers, $7.50 for soup, and $11 for garden salads. They also source from Lombrico Farm in West Whately, Oliver’s Farm Stand in Goshen, and Marty’s Local in South Deerfield.
One of the newest specials includes the Caprese Burger with black Angus beef hamburger or a vegetarian quinoa patty, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on a grilled bun or without a bun on locally sourced lettuce.
“I try to keep things fresh and local, and serve a quality dish,” she said. “I also don’t do anything copycat, which has proven to be a bit polarizing – people are either completely isolated or they’re trying their best to find me.”
She says locals are particularly welcoming, many of whom have become repeat customers.
In addition to not serving things like French fries, she also noted that The Ledges does not sell any type of soft drinks. Marcinek says it’s important to her not to sell something she wouldn’t buy for her home. The food truck sells bottled water, Pellegrino and blueberry lemonade made with Wild Maine berries from local farm stands.
With a focus on sustainability, they offer compostable cutlery and biodegradable sea straws. In the future, it also aims to reduce the use of plastic further.
The Ledges is currently open from 11am to 7pm Thursday through Monday and will remain open as long as the temperatures outside are not freezing.
As a self-proclaimed “Halloween nut” who installs a haunted display in front of her house every year, Marcinek says patrons can expect to see a haunted food truck as well, filling at least 13 of the 50 outdoor seats with life. Size of skeletons.