Born in Iran, and married in Sweden, Sussan Noubahar Ljungberg has traveled extensively around the world. And she plans to bring a little bit of Europe to the center of Long Valley.
Ljungberg, a resident of Bridgewater, has recently assumed ownership of Sweet Endings Café, located in the center of Long Valley in Restaurant Village, and envisions an experience that is closer to the cafes of France and Italy than to Starbucks.
Ljungberg, her two children and her husband, a telecom engineer who has worked at a number of companies around the world, have been able to experience many different cultures.
Her goal is to offer tasty, homemade cuisine at affordable prices. And while she has no plans for a set menu, the daily offering will be available on a board at the café or by phoning in for the daily specials.
“I always felt there were no real coffee shops in the United States," she said. "In Europe, they go into coffee shops more than restaurants where they can enjoy coffee or wine and just socialize."
So what should Long Valley residents expect?
“Every day we will have a homemade soup, quiche, and a salad. We’ll also have hot and cold open faced sandwiches and various ethnic dishes,” Ljungberg said.
Growing up in Iran, and living in Sweden, Italy, and Taiwan, Ljungberg has amassed the knowledge to create dishes from around the world.
She said she doesn’t want to have a set menu because she wants to use her creativity and be able to be spontaneous about what she is going to make each day.
“I love to cook. My focus is not on how much money I can make. I'm doing this because I want to create a really soothing and delightful atmosphere with delicious food,” Ljungberg said.
This week, the homemade fare included: Swedish quiche with mushrooms and chives served with a side of salad for $6.50, and a red lentil soup made with ginger, cilantro, mixed vegetables, carrots, and parsley, with a fresh roll for $4.50.
“I want to be able to say, 'OK, todat we’re going to have a Thai lunch or maybe something Indian.' I’d like to offer a taste of each country,” Ljungberg said.
She said the wines that she serves range from $18 to $25 per bottle, or as little as $6 per glass.
In addition to coffee and desserts (such as cheesecake, chocolate mousse, Danish, scones and brownies, which are currently prepared at a local bakery), Ljungberg hopes to offer entertainment of the singer-songwriter kind in the near future. Free wi-fi is available at the café as well.
Sweet Endings, which seats 30 people, is open Wednesday to Sunday each week. Wednesday and Thursday the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ljungberg said she needs Monday and Tuesday to shop and fully prepare her home made cuisine.
She assumed ownership of Sweet Endings on April 19, just three weeks ago, and so far, she said many customers have returned three or four times.
Ljungberg said she has received wonderful feedback both for the cuisine and the atmosphere.
“Even if they only have 20 minutes for lunch, I am creating an atmosphere that will allow them to fully enjoy whatever time they have,” Ljungberg said.