Jarrod’s Deli opens, Café 532 expands

  • Jarrod's Deli is all about comfort food, like this grilled meatloaf sandwich. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Ryan Lecomte whips up a sandwich at Jarrod's Deli, which opened last week at 16 Colls Farm Road in Jaffrey. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Owner Peter Constant takes an order at the new, expanded location of Cafe 532 in Jaffrey. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Owner Peter Constant takes an order at the new, expanded location of Cafe 532 in Jaffrey. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The new, expanded location of Cafe 532 in Jaffrey. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:50AM

Jaffrey’s newest restaurant offers old-fashioned home cooking straight from Lynn Howard’s family kitchen. Jarrod’s Deli and Classic Meals opened last week on Colls Farm Road, the creation of Howard and her son Ryan Lecomte.

“I cooked for four sons from a very young age, so I love to cook,” said Howard. “Now being older and single with just a daughter, it’s hard to downsize, even mentally, you want to just keep cooking for people.”

The two opened the restaurant in honor of Howard’s eldest son, Jarrod, who died in November due to complications from Type 1 diabetes.

“His favorite places to eat were places that had homemade classic foods, real simple but delicious,” Howard said.

In keeping with that, the menu is true comfort food – grilled meatloaf sandwiches, lasagna, nothing too fancy.

“I like coming in making sandwiches, using the flat-top grill, keep it real simple,” Lecomte, a longtime short-order cook, said. “That’s why we’re here.”

Lecomte was diagnosed with Celiac disease as a child in 1985, far before gluten-free products became readily available. That meant finding and cooking food he could eat was a bit of an adventure.

“Because he was diagnosed so long ago, and you couldn’t buy gluten-free products anywhere, we had to send away to Washington state for his bread,” Howard said. “So I started to experiment with potato flour and rice flour and arrowroot, and things would literally blow up in the oven.”

Now thirty years later, Howard and Lecomte have just about perfected their gluten-free cooking, and offer a near menu-full of gluten-free options at no extra charge.

“It’s not really fair,” Lecomte said, to charge an extra dollar for gluten-free bread that costs the restaurant ten cents more per slice. “I’d rather just take the hit as a business.”

Cafe 532 expands

Jarrod’s Deli is open in the former location of Cafe 532, which moved down the hill from Coll’s Farm to Hadley Road and reopened in an expanded warehouse-style space, complete with seats for 72, room for musical acts, and a full bar. Owner Peter Constant said that as the catering side of the business grew and the restaurant side became more popular, there just wasn’t room to do what they wanted to do in their original space. More customers than a business can serve is a good problem to have, Constant said, “but it’s still a problem.”

“The solution is to provide as much as we can, as locally as we can, and put a big smile on everybody’s face,” Constant said. “If we do that, that’s our goal.”

Cafe 532 has expanded its offerings a bit as well. The smoker gets going for barbecue specials on Fridays, tacos are sizzling up on (of course) Tuesdays, and plans are in the works for a block party collaboration with next-door Terrapin Glassblowing Studio – all steps toward making the Stone Arch Business District a destination location for Jaffrey and Peterborough diners.