Popular Jammin’ Crepes Nassau Street Eatery Plans Webinar To Benefit Daytop/Crawford House
SUCCESS STORY: “We offer fresh ingredients from local sources. Everything is healthy and sustainable. Our specialties are made-to-order crepes and our homemade jams, but we also have seasonal soups and salads.” The owners of Jammin’ Crepes are pleased to offer outside dining and takeout service according to the current New Jersey state regulations. Shown, from left, are owners Kim and Amin Rizk and Kathy Klockenbrink.
By Jean Stratton
For the past six years, it has been the place to meet a friend for breakfast, lunch, or just a quick afternoon treat.
Success stories like that of Jammin’ Crepes are unique. A favorite from the day it opened its doors in 2014, its popularity continues to grow and grow.
Established by Kim and Amin Rizk and Kathy Klockenbrink, it was initially introduced at several farm markets, including West Windsor and Princeton, in 2011.
“We emphasized good fresh food, especially crepes, all made to order, as well as our homemade jams and pickles. The farm markets were a very good showcase for us, and people enjoyed seeing us make the crepes,” says Kim Rizk.
Bricks and Mortar
The response was so enthusiastic that they decided to move on to the bricks and mortar establishment at 20 Nassau Street. The crepes had grown so popular that expanding into a space of their own was the next logical step.
People were also intrigued by the Jammin’ Crepes’ name, which is a combination of their specialties: Jam and Crepes, explains Rizk.
As Princeton residents, the owners wanted to share Jammin’ Crepes with their own community, she adds. “We feel this is like a cafe, and we also wanted to replicate a market environment. We thought this would be like real street food in a very informal and comfortable setting. We liked the idea of a farmhouse-like setting.”
“Also, Princeton lends itself to the kind of food we offer, which is portable,” points out Klockenbrink.
In addition to crepes, both sweet and savory, the cafe offers a daily selection of seasonal soups and salads, all freshly made, and a variety of home-baked cookies, cakes and other pastries.
The assortment of homemade jams, preserved by Kim Rizk, and homemade pickles are big favorites. Rizk is a master food preserver, having received her certificate through Cornell University Extension.
The owners are delighted with the success of Jammin’ Crepes, says Klockenbrink, who co-authored a bi-lingual cookbook while living in Grenoble, France. “It is the result of a lot of hard work, and we have been so well-received right from the beginning.”
There is really nothing else like Jammin’ Crepes in the area. All the crepes are made from scratch with the owners’ own recipes and special ingredients.
“Our recipes are unique to us,” points out Rizk. “Some customers have special favorites that they always order, and others want to try everything. We have had many regular customers from the beginning, and some come once a week or even more often. We have made friends with so many people.”
And the customers certainly love all the crepes, whether sweet or savory. Among the favorites are Everything’s Better With Bacon & Jam, with thick-cut smokehouse bacon, seasonal jam of the day, fresh baby arugula, and brie.
Southwest Sausage, Egg, & Cheese, including homemade all-turkey sausage and free range scrambled eggs, with a blend of melted cheeses, black beans, scallions, and house-made hot sauce, is a popular breakfast specialty.
Dessert favorites include Apple Toasty, featuring browned butter and cinnamon sugar with special orchard apples. “In the summer, our lemon and lavender crepes are also very popular. They are very refreshing,” reports Klockenbrink.
A variety of vegetarian and vegan choices are also available.
Daily seasonal soups highlighting local farm produce and artisan ingredients are in demand, as are the fresh seasonal salads, featuring local greens with signature house-made pickles. The fresh spinach and strawberry salad is a real favorite.
Freshness is a priority at Jammin’ Crepes. Every crepe is made fresh-to-order, and the batter is made in-house from scratch every day.
In addition, ingredients from regional farmers and local artisans, supplemented by Fair Trade and organic ingredients, are used whenever possible.
Supporting area farmers and food vendors is very important to Jammin’ Crepes, and being part of the community and giving back is a priority, reports Kim Rizk.
“As a locally-owned and operated small business, we are committed to supporting our community of Princeton, with an emphasis on sustainability.
“Our community support and engagement includes programs and partnerships with local schools, nonprofits, and community organizations, purchasing practices that support local farms and businesses, and responsible waste management that includes a commitment to compostable food service and composting.”
Summer Harvest Webinar
In accordance with their community support policy, Jammin’ Crepes has hosted a variety of webinars, and on Thursday, June 25, is featuring “Preserving the Summer Harvest” from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Rizk and Klockenbrink will present ways to preserve the summer harvest.
“In this webinar, we will share with you fun and fast ways to preserve the local summer harvest,” they explain. “Recipes will include fermented carrots, pickled summer squash, spicy beets, pickled turnips, and a summer fruit shrub.”
This webinar will benefit Daytop New Jersey at Crawford House. A halfway house in Skillman, it provides treatment programs for women 18 and older who are coping with substance abuse.
Founded in 1978, Crawford House is the first halfway house for women in New Jersey. Based strongly on the 12-Step program, it not only offers treatment programs and housing, it also provides women with education and information on how to use the community support system so they can achieve and maintain a substance-free life-style.
Counselors and therapists help them learn the necessary skills to re-enter society, and assist them in finding employment in the area. A number of Princeton and area businesses, including Jammin’ Crepes, have employed residents of Crawford House.
“A woman who was a patient there came to work for us, and she did a good job,” says Rizk. “We have supported Crawford House in various ways, including fundraisers, by contributing dinners, and with webinars.”
“What I have learned with this has helped me develop a better understanding of how hard it is to be successful and sustain success, when dealing with an addiction,” points out Klockenbrink.
The current webinar is free, but donations to benefit Crawford House are welcome and will be very helpful. Those interested can register at eventbrite.com, Preserving Summer Harvest Event.
After months of coping with the business effects of COVID-19, Kim and Amin Rizk and Kathy Klockenbrink look forward to when they can again offer indoor dining, but in the meantime, they welcome customers to dine outside, where 20 to 25 can be accommodated. Takeout is always available.
In addition, they are now providing special prepared meals to go: Friday Night BBQ and Small Business Sunday Brunch. Pre-orders will be taken. Catering and private party services are also available.
Jammin’ Crepes has been a positive experience from the beginning for all involved — owners and customers alike.
“We were surprised at how much the community appreciated us right away,” says Klockenbrink. “Now, I really look forward to getting back into our creative mode and continuing to evolve. I so much enjoy the interaction with customers and our staff. Many of the staff members have been with us from the start.”
Adds Rizk, “This is such a great community. People have given us a wonderful reception, and we can’t wait to open our doors and welcome them back inside. They enjoy the farm-like setting, and they like to sit at the counter where they can watch us make the crepes.
“We look forward to being here for our customers for a long time to come!”
Jammin’ Crepes is currently open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (609) 924–5387. Website: www.jammincrepes.com.