BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Two Nutley food entrepreneurs and one ‘sister restaurant’ of a Nutley establishment, joined Bloomfield's Best Restaurants and Food Crafters at the annual fundraiser for the Oakeside Cultural Center. The Center is the only site in Bloomfield on the National Register of Historic Places.

The event took place Sun, April 23 at Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center and was attended by approximately 250 citizens, volunteers and local dignitaries.


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Melisse L'abeille, one of the owners of ‘Steep for the Trees’ said she and her partner John Lancellotti, were participating to allow people to experience their ‘world-wide sourced teas’.

The Nutley couple sells their product at the Nutley Farmers Market and on their Etsy store. In addition, a percentage of their business is from customers generated by at home ‘tea parties’ hosted by customers.

Melisse said that what makes their teas so delicious is the attention given to sourcing. For example, the peppermint and dandelion used in their teas is the highest quality that can be found in the U.S., while their lavender comes from France.

An environmentally conscious company, Steep for the Trees donates a portion of their proceeds to the Trees That Feed Foundation, an organization that has provided over 100,000 food-bearing trees throughout the globe. Check them out at Trees that Feed Foundation on Steep for the Trees. 

Follow Melisse and John on their Steep for the Trees Facebook page

Shop for ‘Steep for the Trees’ Teas on their Etsy shop: 


Jim McGuire, owner of McGuire Catering had a tasting table that included his exceptional ‘Buffalo Chicken Dip’ and tortilla chips. McGuire said he was participating to expand his catering business into towns surrounding Nutley.

He started his food career as the manager of Terrazza, which is now Bella Luce. His passion for ‘hosting’ back yard barbecues expanded into the current catering biz he now owns with his fiancé’ Patti.

McGuire is the bar food chef Wednesday – Saturday and Sundays during football season at Cork’s in Nutley. He rents Cork’s kitchen for his catering bookings.

Tapinto asked McGuire about customer favorites: “Mac and cheese and burgers…and lots of Italian dishes from this Irish chef.”

Recently McGuire catered a 50 year anniversary party in Ridgewood that included filet mignon, scallops and shrimp on the grill. The golden couple recently moved from Nutley to Ridgewood and hired McGuire Catering for the complete party set-up.

Learn more about McGuire Catering here:

The Nutley entrepreneur also owns Essex Cigar Lounge. The cigar smoking establishment, according to McGuire, is ‘strictly cigars and accessories’ According the website: It is our goal at the Essex Cigar Lounge to offer you a wide array of the best tobacco products and accessories as well as a comfortable lounge.

McGuire is hosting a Grand Opening Sunday May 7 from 3-7p.m. 504 Washington Ave. Belleville.

Jim McGuire is also Vice President of Fundraising at Gail's Angels Foundation.


Located in Clifton NJ, The Barrow House, is the sister restaurant to Nutley’s Cowans Public. Both establishments are  owned by brothers Dean and Thomas Maroulakos.

Rob, the sous chef at Barrow House described the restaurant as a ‘scratch kitchen.’ All breads, salsas, stock etc are house made ‘from scratch’. All meat and produce is locally sourced. Rob originally worked at Cowan’s Public and was chosen to join the team that opened Barrow House.

Cody was introduced at the ‘extern’ who is currently spending 5 weeks learning how to be a line cook before he completes his studies at the International Culinary Center in NY.

Taste of Bloomfield attendees were delighted with the Barrow House panna cotta, a spoonful of housemade yogurt with hibiscus flower gelee, lemongrass tea and garnished with micro beet greens and honeybee pollen.

Nutley History on the building that houses Cowans Public. The structure at 229 Centre Street was built in the early 1920s, and opened as a bar in 1934, immediately following the failure of the “Noble Experiment,” Prohibition. It has operated as a pub ever since, through several reiterations: Lou’s, John’s Tavern, the ever infamous Nutley Pub and now Cowan’s Public

TAPinto Nutley and TAPinto Bloomfield were the official media sponsors of 'A Taste of Bloomfield'