They are sole partners in life, love and now (finally) business.
The dynamic and charming duo of Yannick and Ana Brendel is making a return to the Naples dining scene with the upcoming Yana Eats, a café, meal delivery and take-out service expected to kick off the first week of September in the Seabreeze Plaza on U.S. 41 (it will take over the space previously held by A Taste of Jersey and The Lunch Bucket).
A third-generation French baker and chef from the quaint Alsatian town of Colmar, Yannick was the executive chef for the catering department at Wynn’s Market before opening La Colmar Bakery & Bistro last August with Ed and Sue Mullen. Although La Colmar is still churning out delectable pastries and more, the Brendels and Mullens have since parted ways—which led to Yannick and Ana’s decision to start something fresh on their own.
To that end, the main focus of Yana Eats will be providing nutritious, rib-sticking, from-scratch meals and baked goods for busy people who want to eat in the comfort of their own home and may also want the convenience of being able to place orders online. The cute café—with a beautiful mural by artist Mike Santos and tables by woodworker Carlos Castro of Black Mangrove Design—will have 16 seats, so you can cozy up there if you’d like to as well.
At first, deliveries will cover the 34102, 34103 and 34108 zip codes, with the idea of expanding as business grows; both deliveries and pickup (plus dine-in orders, should you not want to wait) can be done with a few clicks or a phone call.
“For the new concept, we tried to see what’s missing in our life and what’s missing in the market and what can work here,” Yannick says. “Too many times we’ve heard people say, ‘We’re eating too much restaurant food.’ So we thought, why don’t we cook food like mom is cooking—the way we do at home, with our heart. With the delivery service, we cool down real food and pack it, and then people can pick it up or we can deliver. Nothing will ever be frozen. And besides pizza or Chinese delivery, what else is there that’s focused on eating in your own home that’s real food?”
Most of his recipes are a blend of the varying influences in their lives. He hails from a region with strong French and German roots; she is from the Dominican Republic with grandparents from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Together, they’ve come up with plays and twists on comforting favorites that mix a little bit of this with a little bit of that, such as a French bouillabaisse with elements of a Dominican sancocho (which, Yannick notes, you don’t really see on menus here, yet it is in every single household on that island). To get the taste they’re talking about and keep the cost affordable, they are forming partnerships with organic farmers to make use of their cast-offs, which doubles as an eco-conscious move. Perfectly fine carrots, for example, that can’t be sold in a market because they are oddly formed or don’t have the uniform color consumers expect will be snatched up by the Brendels and put to work in a 5-hour braise. Calorie counts, in addition to the backstory for each dish, will be listed on yanaeats.com—and the day’s selections will be updated in real time as people place their orders.
Adds Ana, “We want to eat good food, but we want to take into consideration the healthy way of eating and not give up any flavor. We also thought about how do we stay in the market when the market is changing—Amazon is one of our favorite stores—so the idea came to us to have our service be like e-commerce, as if you were buying shoes. We’re going to make it very fun. It’s going to have the actual picture of the food on the menu, the inspiration behind the food and the cultures that came together to make it. And for people who are health-conscious, you can see the calories, too.”
To plan a visit:
3050 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
(to open in September 2018)