Courtney Bonning has sold Bonbon Pastry & Cafe
, her five-year-old Ohio City business, to Fady Chamoun of Aladdin's Eatery. Bonbon will close its doors after New Year’s Eve and Chamoun will reopen the space as Boaz Café by Aladdin’s Eatery as quickly as the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th of the year, depending on what needs to be done.
“I am a big supporter of Cleveland neighborhoods,” Chamoun says. “I’ve wanted to do something closer to downtown for a while.”
The menu at Boaz Café will look familiar to fans of Aladdin’s Eatery
, but it will be more narrowly focused around a core selection of fresh, fast and healthy Middle Eastern eats, he notes. The all or largely organic menu will have hummus, baba, tabouli, fattoush, falafel and shawarma sandwiches. There also will be fresh fruit juices and smoothies. Down the line, grab-and go items like salads, spreads and sandwiches might be added.
Unfortunately for the neighborhood, Boaz will not serve breakfast like its predecessor.
“I really love what Courtney did there,” Chamoun says. “I feel bad for the customers that are so used to eating breakfast there that have no other choice now. I feel bad but I don’t know how to do breakfast like she did. She did a great job with breakfast. I respect her.”
As for Bonning, this sale was exactly what she wanted.
“I’m so pumped,” she says. “It’s really cool to own your own restaurant but I still feel like there are a lot other things I want to try. I wasn’t one of those restaurant groups where I could step away. It’s always been just me. If I stepped away from Bonbon for any length of time it wouldn’t continue going.”
Next up for Bonning is a new venture with partner Lauren Krueger. On track to be open this time next year is a bakery incubator both similar to and different from other food-based incubator spaces like Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen
. To be located in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood, the space will be outfitted specifically for pastry chefs.
“We’re going to have a confectionery room with low temps and low humidity so they can do chocolates and they can do candies and cakes,” Bonning explains.
Also unique is the rental structure, she adds.
“This will be rentable not by the hour but by the month, so you can set up your mise en place and know it’s your sanctuary, it’s your home. You’ll have a specific workspace that is completely devoted to you, but then you have use of the larger mixers and sheeters and ovens – the things you can’t afford.”
A large catering kitchen will be rentable by the week for folks preparing for a large event. The space will also be used for teaching demos and private events.
“I’m so grateful and it’s been an awesome ride, but it’s just time for something new and different,” Bonning says.