Staff Writer
SKOWHEGAN — Stuffed grape leaves with cucumber dill salad, gazpacho and yogurt with strawberry rhubarb compote.
Those dishes all will be part of the menu on Saturdays this summer at the new cafe at The Pick Up, a community-supported agriculture program at the Somerset Grist Mill inside the former county jail.
Saturday was the grand opening, chef and kitchen manager Rosa Rosario said.
“We’re making local, fresh food; about 80 percent of the food is all locally sourced from farms in our area,” Rosario said.
Brunch at the cafe is 8:30 a.m. –1 p.m. Saturdays. Rosario also makes dishes that can be included in weekly, pre-paid shares of The Pickup CSA, a program which gives local shoppers the opportunity to buy seasonal farm-fresh food and gives about 40 local farmers a new market for their products.
Plans for the future at the cafe include Friday night farm dinners with a variety of dishes and chefs.
Patrons can dine inside  at The Pick Up or outside on a patio where jail guards once parked their transport vehicles.
“I love it,” Skowhegan Selectwoman Betty Austin said Saturday. “This morning I had zucchini bread. They have French toast that they make with strawberries on top of it, whipped cream. It’s not just that the food is good, it’s wonderful for all the people to get together and meet and talk. It’s really good for the town.”
Amber Lambke, of Skowhegan, bought the 1897 former county jail in 2009 with her business partner Michael Scholz, of Albion, a baker and wheat farmer. The jail closed in 2008.
Plans for the grist mill include grinding and milling equipment, most of which already is in place. There also is a yarn shop, a pottery studio and the twice-weekly farmers’ market.
“This place is amazing,” said Skowhegan busisnessman Donald Skillings, as he ate at one of the patio tables. “Amber has done a wonderful job of generating this. I’ve had breakfast burritos for two weeks in a row. I make a point of being here Saturday mornings.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.