By G. Michael Dobbs
CHICOPEE – With the hoopla surrounding the opening of Chick-fil-A on Memorial Drive last week, another new restaurant on the shopping corridor has opened but with a difference: it’s family owned by Chicopee residents.
Gabriela Santiago, the marketing director for Family Roasters, explained to Reminder Publications
the name for eatery at 1408 Memorial Drive is appropriate as roasted chicken is the featured dish and the business is owned and operated by an extended family.
Santiago explained the business has been planned since last September and opened about four weeks ago. She noted that Family Roasters is among the minority of restaurants on Memorial Drive, as it is locally owned.
The emphasis is on fresh ingredients and fresh preparation, she explained. “Everything is made in house,” she said including items such as salad dressing, mashed potatoes and other items that are frequently purchased.
“This is a fresh product,” she added.
Santiago explained that father and son owners Nelson Alicea Sr. and Jr. as well as partner Benjamin Vargas have extensive restaurant experience. They wanted to create a diverse menu with daily specials that feature both Hispanic and non-Hispanic dished.
“We wanted to cater to everyone,” she said.
A glance on the restaurant’s Facebook page shows daily special that range from a Gorgonzola burger to Chicken Francé to grilled salmon. The roasted chickens are available either as whole birds or half and also come as combo meals with side dishes.
The restaurant prepares each meal to order, Santiago said, which has confused some patrons who think Family Roasters is another fast food business.
The restaurant is also buying as much of its supplies from local merchants to support the area economy, Santiago said.
Santiago suggested the patrons check its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FamilyRoastersChicopee
) for its daily specials.
The business has started delivery services this week as well.