Montclair’s food scene levels up with the soft opening of Libelula Bakery and Kitchen. Nestled in the heart of Montclair at 5 North Fullerton Avenue, this bakery and eatery serves a blend of Dominican, Peruvian, and French flavors. What was once home to Sushi Hana has now transformed into Libelula Bakery and Kitchen — where owners Veruska and Brian, two seasoned culinary experts, are set to impress their customers’ taste buds with their expertise. The new spot officially soft opened September 26th, and will have bakery, breakfast, and lunch service until Sunday, October 1st. Read more to learn about the new bakery and eatery open now in Montclair, and the talented couple behind it.
The Journey to Montclair
Veruska and Brian are both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America and each bring over 15 years of experience in the industry to their shop. The couple crossed paths during their culinary school days and are now the husband and wife team behind their own establishment — a long-time dream for the pair.
Executive Chef Brian boasts an impressive career working in a number of well-known restaurants in New York City and New Jersey — including Fleming’s in Edgewater and Harvest Restaurant Group where he works as Executive Chef.
Pastry Chef Veruska has worked her magic in the city, and more recently, delighted the taste buds of Montclair residents through her custom cake and dessert business, Cake and Flourish. Many Montclair locals also already know her as a Food Network Spring Baking Championship alumna. Now, Veruska and Brian are ready to bring their expertise to Libelula Bakery and Kitchen, with the hopes of making it a go-to destination for anyone with a sweet tooth and savory craving.
Why did they choose to open up in Montclair? Aside from the strong ties Veruska has with her clientele in the area, the couple saw a need for more Latin food. “People are always looking for something new, exciting, and different. We wanted to take the food we grew up with, take our formal training, and blend them to create an establishment that was both nostalgic with an edge of refinement,” Veruska says.
As a teenager, Veruska would frequent the coffee shops in Montclair specifically highlighting the Cafe Eclectic karaoke nights, and knew she would have her own place there one day. “I am happy to share my dream and journey with my husband, Brian who is equally passionate about the food he creates,” Veruska says.
About the Bakery
Libelula Bakery and Kitchen is not just a bakery; it’s a culinary celebration of diverse flavors. The menu offers breakfast and lunch with a tempting fusion of Dominican and Peruvian cuisine, alongside a collection of Latin and French pastries. Taking inspiration from Veruska’s mother’s famous recipe of Peruvian-style Ceviche and the traditional Chicharrón, which is fried pork belly, to some sweets known as Orejitas and Alfajores which are shortbread cookies with dulce de leche, Libelula aspires to “bring a wave of nostalgia — but with a twist of innovation.”
The secret behind the shop’s name “Libelula” is the Spanish word for dragonfly, carrying the Latin tradition that signifies the coming of good news, and “Libelula has delivered its promise,” according to Veruska.
“We hope our guests leave with happy, full stomachs! We pride ourselves in the food we serve and we want to honor our families in creating a space that welcomes everyone for a great meal. For us — food means community,” says Veruska.
Libelula officially soft opened its doors today, September 26th, for bakery, breakfast, and lunch services. The soft launch week runs until Sunday, October 1st, operating from 7AM – 4PM every day. We stopped by this morning to check it out and the coffees are delicious — if you’re looking for a sweet fall flavor, we recommend the spiced brown sugar latte.
Stay tuned on the bakery’s Instagram for more information on the grand opening date and follow @TheMontclairGirl for more local New Jersey lifestyle content.