Cooking up change: Adored Bklyn Heights grocer expanding in-store kitchen’s size, menu, hours

Foodies: Remsen Street health-food store Perelandra co-owners Allison Buckingham and Roland Auer, and food service director Aly Weigle, are looking forward to re-opening with an expanded kitchen in early April.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re hungry for more!

Owners of the beloved Remsen Street health-food store Perelandra temporarily shuttered its kitchen and juice bar to make way for a massive cooking space that will serve a bevy of new freshly prepared foods when it reopens this spring.

“This is the most significant expansion we’ve done in nearly 20 years,” said co-owner Allison Buckingham. “We’re close to tripling the size of the kitchen.”

The staple Brooklyn Heights grocer between Court and Clinton streets — which opened on nearby Montague Street in 1976 before moving to its current location — is recognized for its aisles filled with good-for-you fare, including organic fruits and vegetables and rice and grains by the pound, and for its entirely plant-based kitchen, where workers made to-go sandwiches and baked goods along with fresh juices and coffee before it closed in mid-January for the makeover.

And when the super-sized, Kosher-certified space opens in April, it will boast a bulked-up menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as expanded hours that include weekends, when the old kitchen was closed, Buckingham said.

Hungry shoppers can browse a new hot bar that will feature foods including breakfast burritos, enchiladas, and roasted vegetables, or grab specialty sandwiches made to order with several bread options, all but one of which are gluten-free, she said.

Patrons looking for a lighter bite can help themselves at two new grab-and-go stations, one of which will be stocked with items such as salads and pre-made sandwiches, while the other will include more than a dozen pastries and other baked goodies.

And the revamped juice bar will be equipped with an espresso machine in order to make cappuccinos and lattes — exciting new treats for customers who want more than the regular cups of joe it previously poured, the co-owner said.

Buckingham said she and co-owner Roland Auer originally planned to reopen the kitchen in early March, but work delays pushed its return back a month, and she’s looking forward to firing up the stove again for shoppers after contemplating the expansion for some time.

“We’re thrilled, and our customers are so excited,” she said. “We’ve been at capacity in our kitchen for years.”

And the co-owner — a certified nutritionist who since 2002 has worked at Perelandra, where she often buys her own meals from — said that the store won’t serve anything that a professional wouldn’t put in his or her own stomach.

“I’ve basically eaten breakfast and lunch at this store every day for 15 years,” Buckingham said. “I take a lot of pride in being able to trust where you buy your food. And people really trust that if it’s on our shelves, they know it’s something they could feel good about.”

Perelandra [175 Remsen St. between Clinton and Court streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 855–6068,].

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:48 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jean from Bay Ridge says:
Feb. 26, 2018, 10:54 am
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
FWIW, Perelandra is a novel by C.S. Lewis (famed for the Narnia books), part of the Venus Trilogy.
Feb. 27, 2018, 8:58 pm

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