New restaurants are always so exciting, especially in my home town of Holyoke. I got to meet Nicole Ortiz and the crew at Crave Food Holyoke for our 4th Episode of PaperCity Eats!
Nicole cooks with a unique Caribbean inspired fair. She's brought a unique blend of flavors to Downtown Holyoke and I'm trilled to see her business take off. She started Crave last year with a food truck and a dream. It wasn't long before she built a dedicated following. In 2021, Nicole opened a full restaurant in the heart of downtown Holyoke at 285 High St.
"We strive to bring fresh, vibrant and unique cuisine to the area- all while being conscious of the environment and inspiring others to achieve their dreams."
Nichole has lived up and down this coast and has a unique heritage. Her father is Puerto Rican, born and raised on the island, while her mother's family is from Italy and Finland. In many ways, she's lived a hundred lives and a hundred cultures, drawing inspiration from each and putting it into her food.
It Takes A Village
Nicole honed her craft further at HCC's culinary kitchen - and incredible community support that has a fully staffed and stocked kitchen and restaurant.
[HCC offers a] beautiful state-of-the-art facility. Featuring four full-service kitchens, a bakery, hotel lab, and student-run dining room.
Building upon her business degree, she participated in Holyoke EforAll, a program that since 2013, has partnered with communities to help under-represented individuals successfully start their businesses.
Building Towards the Future
With the pandemic, Crave offers take out and hopes to add outdoor and indoor dining options as case numbers drop. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram so you know where to find the truck out around the city. You can also view their restaurant menu here.
What is Paper City Eats?
During the late 19th century the city produced an estimated 80% of the writing paper used in the United States, and was the largest paper, silk, and alpaca wool mills in the world. Although a considerably less businesses make paper in Holyoke now, it's still commonly referred to as "The Paper City."
This video series focuses on the Holyoke food scene and how you can best support our local restaurants, both now during the economic turmoil of COVID and when the world returns to normal.