ROCKPORT — Alison Callahan, an active mother of two children, says she was always trying to prepare healthy lunches for her young family on the go.
She often made wrap sandwiches because the bread did not squish when placed into a beach bag or backpack on one of their many excursions.
Now that her two children are older, one in college and one about to enter high school, she has embarked on a new venture with the opening of "Ally's Eatery" in a tiny corner of 2 Dock Square near the town's information booth.
A Rockport native, Callahan said she wanted to use local names as she came up with ideas for the menu.
The Back Beach wrap is made of homemade chicken salad, red grapes, lettuce and tomato, and the T-Wharf wrap is made of turkey, honey ham, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard to name two of the offerings.
Examples of paninis include: The Rockporter, made of honey ham, melted brie cheese and raspberry jam, and the Motif No. Yum, made of turkey, roasted artichokes, pesto and provolone cheese. "These are battling for one and two for best-sellers so far," said Stephen Pacheco, who manages Ally's and who has experience opening other eateries.
To cater to vegetarians and vegans, there is an Ol' Garden wrap with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, red and green peppers, carrots and guacamole, or the Front Beach panini with fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula, balsamic roasted peppers and basil.
Both Callahan and Pacheco said they are very health conscious; and hence the eatery's motto is: "Eat to Live, Don't Live to Eat."
"Ally's Eatery was born from the idea that good food, gourmet even, should be easily available to the masses in the healthiest form possible," said Pacheco.
All recipes and dressings are created by Peter Zopatti, of Rockport, a chef with decades of experience, and who worked for many years at one of Rockport's oceanfront inns.
The shop also serves a Cobb salad, an Asian spinach salad and an Italian-type salad, The Insalata, as well as subs and even a breakfast wrap, the Eggstravaganza.
"It's been gratifying to hear the positive feedback from the locals," said Callahan, who opened the shop a few weeks ago. "We have been seeing a lot of repeat customers, and some who came back to order platters."
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or email@example.com.