by Lisa Tome
During September, New Beginnings Port Side, is going for the gold.
New Beginnings Port Side, a cafe next to Port Deposit's town hall, at 66 South Main Street, opened for business in July.
Owners, husband and wife team Shawn and Candace Gooch are dedicating the month of September at the business to promoting childhood cancer awareness.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and it's a cause close to their hearts. The couple has a personal connection to cancer. Their two-year-old, Lachlan, is battling Neuroblastoma - a nerve system cancer. Over the weekend, Gooch family members were at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where Lachlan has received treatment. The couple also has two older children.
Here in Cecil County, the restaurant is decked out with gold accents supporting the fight against childhood cancer. "We're working to spread awareness," said Shawn Gooch. They also have special gold menu items for the month. Year round, the cafe also sells Alex's Lemonade, a product whose sales benefit cancer causes.
The couple leases the property and runs the cafe and the bed and breakfast which is reservations only.
On weekdays, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the cafe is open from 6:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. On weekends, business is brisk with the weekend buffet which is served from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. New Beginnings Port Side is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
The weekday menu includes breakfast sandwiches and platters, pancakes, and more. There is an espresso bar. Bonnie Kampes, a family member of the Gooch family, provides fresh made pastries and baked goods for New Beginnings.
Chef Shawn Gooch is from Tennessee and has spiced up some of his grandmother's home cooking recipes which he serves in the restaurant. "I worked at McDonald's when I was 16. The rest I learned from my grandmother," he said. "She was depression era so she saved on milk by using milk and water." Shawn has converted the recipes for the restaurants. "We add more flavor," he laughed.
Candace runs the front of the house. "My wife is very entertaining," he said. "She runs the cappuccino machine. I don't touch it," he laughed.
There is also specials planned for October.
"The pumpkin stuff is coming. We will have pumpkin pancakes," Shawn Gooch said.