South Orange residents were surprised to learn that Mara’s Cafe & Bakery, a pastry, breakfast and lunch spot that had opened to great fanfare in The Gateway apartment complex last summer, had suddenly closed.
However, the space will not stay empty for long, according to the building’s landlord and developer.
While the closing of Mara’s was “sad,” it is not a reflection on the vitality of the South Orange business community, said Edward Ayuso, principal in EEA Industries, LLC but stemmed from “poor management and undercapitalization.”
“Many businesses are thriving here,” Ayuso said. One challenge for many food businesses is the lack of mid-day foot traffic; however, he is hopeful the recent opening of Atlantic Health System’s Village Family Medicine offices in The Avenue apartment complex will provide a boost to lunchtime business.
Other, similar food establishments are interested in the 2,400-square-foot fully fitted space, said Ayuso, and he expects a new business to open in the location by the summer.