Born and raised in North Scranton, Pennsylvania, Ethan Synder is the executive chef and owner of Ethan’s Eats, a business located on Lackawanna Ave in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. Ethan’s Eats has two businesses: a physical cafe and catering business and a meal prep website that offers a variety of meals through online ordering for pickup or delivery.
Compliments to the Chef
Graduating from Keystone College with degrees in business and culinary arts, Ethan recently opened his restaurant business last year and will be celebrating the anniversary of Ethan Eat’s grand opening on May 21. Before Ethan stood proud behind his restaurant’s success, he was once a partner and chef of a different local establishment. He has been in the food industry since 2013 when he worked for food trucks, fine dining restaurants, bars, and takeout restaurants.
Ethan studied from 2009 to 2013 at Keystone College—two years on culinary training and another two years on business management. He has always been passionate about food, with his family being his biggest inspiration. While his dad doesn’t cook professionally, Ethan remembers the good old days when he used to help him in the kitchen. His grandmother was also blessed with culinary skills and that made Ethan feel that culinary was right up his alley. His father has always encouraged him to cook and learn new things for himself:
“One time I was pretty young and my Mom was a little nervous when I was using a paring knife. My Dad said ‘let him go, he’s got to learn.’ Sure enough, I figured it out and managed to not get cut!”
Baking is one of his favorite things to do in the kitchen. In highschool, he used to work in a bakery alongside his brother. His love for baking would branch out into further culinary work, leading him to greater things.
The Food Experience
As Ethan would describe his cafe, it is “a classic café with a laidback and inviting atmosphere.” It is usually open from 9 AM – 2 PM and aside from the nutty aroma of Black & Brass coffee wafting inside the premises, customers also enjoy an ever-changing daily menu, with a couple of staples that are the cafe’s bestsellers.
People normally stay in the cafe to hang out, talk, or study along with their coffee and pastries, while others like to have their grab-and-go orders picked up at their cafe.
The interesting part about Ethan’s Eat’s is the wide variety of vegetarian and vegan offerings for people with special diets. Keto-friendly meals packed with protein and vegetables, almond or oat milk for your coffee, homemade delicacies, and much more. You name it, Ethan’s Eats has it. You can also personally experience the culinary magic at your next event as Ethan Eat’s is also open for catering and events such as small gatherings and parties.
The meal prep side of Ethan’s business has made the pandemic more bearable as the quarantine implementations of last year forced residents in their homes. Families were able to spend more time with their loved ones and enjoy gourmet meals fresh from Ethan’s kitchen. And even though in 2022 everything is gradually returning to normal, there are still some people enjoying the meal prep service. Twice a week, Ethan’s does a take-out night for folks looking to enjoy a premium dinner from the comfort of their own home.
Ethan admits that he wasn’t the type to pick up a textbook and stare at it for long, preferring to indulge in crafting and creating with his own hands by his own rules. That is why his cafe has flexible working schedules, Ethan prefers to be his own boss, clocking in his time and having the creative freedom to experiment new recipes—being both the management and the talent.
“I think I liked the idea of not just working for somebody and doing their recipes or always doing the same thing every day.”
Ethan’s personal style of cooking leans more on technicalities, proving his deep cooking knowledge and culinary prowess. He prefers to find and mix things up, matching them together to create exquisite and unique flavors. With his methodological approach on creating the perfect recipe, his flavors speak for themselves as they embark the taste buds on a colorful journey of exquisiteness.
The Culinary Dream
The experience of running a cafe and meal prep business wasn’t always smooth sailing. The pandemic was one of the biggest obstacles Ethan faced, especially with the shop opening in the middle of the year. Ethan’s Eats managed to survive it with the help of the cafe’s take-out and delivery services.
Ethan’s biggest inspiration in starting and running a business is his love for food and sharing it with other people. Being able to make homemade food and talking to people keeps him motivated to strive and conquer his goals. Ethan believes that passing down homemade recipes are vital to family, community, and food.
Ethan has big dreams for his cafe and meal prep business. His vision is to further grow the business, and welcomes the possibility of moving to another location and expanding menu choices. Currently he sees the direction of his business as steady but not stagnant, with more customers coming through each day.
One of the biggest lessons Ethan has realized is that as a business owner, eventually you’re going to learn to do everything, especially working in a restaurant where you’re expected to know how to wash dishes, cook, mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, and provide service to guests. For that reason, Ethan believes that being a business owner requires one to be adaptable and creative.
If Ethan could go back in time to give his 12-year old self advice, he would tell the pre-teen version of himself to trust his parents more and that what they tell him is important. He notes that as parents, they will always be looking out for him and having his back. Wise words from a wonderful chef raised by wonderful parents!
Be the judge of Ethan’s cooking by swinging by his cafe in Olyphant. You could treat yourself with Black & Brass’ specialty coffees, or you could give their pick-up and delivery a go through ethanseatsnepa.com.
On Another Note
For a very limited time, we are offering two exclusive blends that are usually only available at Ethan’s. Remy and Scooby are two premium and limited offerings that will only be available on Black & Brass’ website for a short period of time. Check them out here.