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Café serves fresh, homemade food and baked goods

POLSON — Rounds of homemade rustic Italian bread, a tray of cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven, smells of coffee brewing and soup simmering greet customers at Mrs. Wonderful’s Marmalade Café. 

Owners Mary Frances and Gino Caselli opened the café, located at 325 Main Street, on July 15 in Polson. 

Mary Frances always wanted to own a café called the Marmalade Café, but she is known around town as Mrs. Wonderful from selling her Italian bread at the Polson Farmers Market and for a line of herbal and sea salt blends for sale in area stores. To keep name recognition, the Casellis opted to combine the two names.  

“Everything is made from scratch,” Mary Frances said, adding that she’s very picky about ingredients.

She and Gino use organic and non-GMO ingredients, all local or as local as possible and all fresh. Even local grass fed beef and chicken.

“I love food, that’s my downfall,” she said.

Mary Frances bustles around the café, greeting friends and customers, boxing up orders, warming quiche, icing another baking sheet of cinnamon rolls and preparing French presses of coffee. 

“I try everything we make,” she said.

The café serves breakfast all day long, including a breakfast panini (a panini is a grilled sandwich on specialty bread) and Swedish cinnamon rolls.

“They kind of melt in your mouth,” Mary Frances said. 

As a former Chicago resident, she frequented Swedish bakeries in the city. Her southern Italian and Polish heritage, fondness for Swedish pastries and the slow food movement, combine to give her restaurant its traditional, homemade, old world flavor.   

The café’s niche in the Polson restaurant market is delicious food, homemade bread and panini, plus “we’re expanding (the menu) all the time,” Mary Frances said.

They offer specials, soups, eggplant parmesan, and Mary Frances plans to introduce a few Polish foods, such as perogies.

“We have really delicious food, classically made,” she said.

She’s also planning on Friday night dinners in October, with pasta, salad and her homemade bread. The café is BYOB (bring your own bottle - beer or wine), gluten-friendly and kid friendly, too. 

“We want our restaurant to be a wonderful place to come,” Mary Frances said. 

“I really represent the slow food movement with good quality, really healthy and super delicious food,” she said. “I would never serve anything I wouldn’t serve my family.” 


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