Meridian Industrial

DEEP ROOTS STREET FOOD

12/30/2022 |

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Since acquiring Grassroots Ice Cream and Deep Roots Street Food in July of 2022, owners Brandon

Pappalardo and Mark Sproule have continued the tradition of fresh, quality products while adding their own tasty twist.

Pappalardo comes to New England from Texas where he was a sous-chef at the Dallas institution, The Grape, for several years. He also managed several notable fast casual establishments.

“Most recently, I was the executive chef of a Mexicanstyle restaurant called Suburban Yacht Club in Plano, Texas which was probably one of the most exciting projects of my career – getting to experiment creatively with the menu and running a fast-paced big kitchen,” he said. “The same year, I was able to create a tasting menu for a private event at Eataly alongside three other chefs, several of which were James Beard recognized. I was pretty proud of my ability to leave a mark on the Dallas food scene.”

Pappalardo, along with his business partner and brotherin- law Sproule, is already making his mark at Deep Roots. “Our vision for Deep Roots is to fill a gap for diverse food in the Farmington Valley area since residents don’t always have the option to try regional cuisines from places like Mexico and Asia,” said Pappalardo. “We intend to incorporate dishes from the aforementioned places into the permanent menu. At Deep Roots, we have been running weekly specials that are able to highlight different cuisines. Most recently, the specials have included: cochinita pibil tacos and a unique take on the Italian porchetta sandwich. Ultimately, the goal is to have fun and bring people in the community together.”

Freshness is a priority at Deep Roots. Pappalardo said eating in season is an important part of their menu philosophy, as is cooking from scratch.

“We are in close contact with our suppliers and bring out seasonal options for both ice cream and food whenever possible,” he said.

Keeping much of the existing menu, but adding to it, has been successful for Deep Roots.

“Many of the existing items on the menu have remained the same since our ownership transition, but we have tweaked a few things,” Pappalardo said. “For instance, brining the chicken that is used in several of the menu items to ensure a better flavor profile and using greens that are in season for the salads. We are planning to make a few new permanent additions to the menu which is why we have been doing these weekly specials – they allow us to gauge how popular these items might be. In terms of favorites, I am partial to anything Mexican, however, I enjoy referencing the French techniques I learned while working in upscale dining.”

Pappalardo said when they purchased the business, he knew of the “cult” following Grassroots has had since it opened, but wasn’t surprised at its popularity when he saw it in-person.

“Seeing it during the peak of summer was definitely something special. From the plethora of flavors to choose from to seeing the smiles of patrons of all ages – all of it has been heartwarming. I suppose that’s the magic of ice cream,” he said.

Although Pappalardo and Sproule did not own Grassroots and Deep Roots at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Pappalardo said it had an impact for sure.

“I think I can speak on behalf of most restaurant industry employees when I say that COVID[-19] required us to think outside the box and pivot in a new direction,” he said. “We saw this in the surge of curbside pickups and makeshift drive-thrus. COVID[-19] has also brought more attention to how essential staff really is to the success of any restaurant, much less a family restaurant like us. We always try to foster a positive community where all of the employees feel heard and take pride in their work.”

As the coronavirus pandemic slows, Pappalardo said he is excited for the new year and has some new things coming.

“We have a few new projects we are planning on rolling out in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I will give you a hint though...it involves another Grassroots location in Connecticut,” said Pappalardo. “And we are looking forward to meeting more customers in the new year.”

GRASSROOTS AND DEEP ROOTS ARE LOCATED
AT 4 PARK PLACE, GRANBY BY THE GREEN

GRASSROOTS IS OPEN
11 A.M. – 9 P.M. MONDAY – SATURDAY AND
11 A.M. – 6 P.M. SUNDAY

DEEP ROOTS STREET FOOD IS OPEN
11 A.M. – 8:30 P.M. MONDAY –
SATURDAY AND 11 A.M. – 6 P.M. SUNDAY

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