New owner hopes to carry on Sophia's tradition
Megan Seiferth knows 3700 Market St. in Hampden Township nearly as well as its former owner, Sophia Nelms.
She should. Seiferth worked for Nelms at Sophia's on Market for about 12 years, serving as pastry chef for the popular Cumberland County cafe and bakery.
Nelms acted with the knowledge that Seiferth could take over and start the next chapter for Sophia's on Market. The two women began discussing the transfer last summer.
"She wanted me to have it," Seiferth said. "I hope to become as successful as Sophia. I just really want to make her proud of me."
The newly renovated restaurant, now dubbed Market, will reopen next week. Seiferth has not yet firmed up an exact date but said it will be more of a soft opening. She is planning to post updates on the Facebook and Instagram pages for the restaurant.
Seiferth said she will serve items comparable to what Sophia's offered for breakfast and lunch. Sophia's serves homemade breakfast and lunch dishes, including soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
"I don't want to change it too much," she said, noting that is why she stuck with the Market name. "We made some updates to the dining room. The menu is the same concept."
Seiferth said she will focus on making soups, including a signature chicken noodle, and roasting her own meats. She also plans to incorporate fresh baked breads and pastries.
"I just want to keep that comfort food, homemade and fresh," she said.
She hopes that many of the familiar faces she saw at Sophia's will come back. Indeed, many have been stopping by during the renovation this winter.
"Everyone still considers this to be their neighborhood restaurant," she said. "I love the neighborhood feel of it."
She also has hired back former staff members. She is opening with five employees but hopes to grow to 10.
Market will be open for breakfast and lunch. Seiferth plans to operate from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. She also is bringing back Saturday brunch hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which Sophia's dropped about a year ago.