Hummingbird House is go-to for homemade food

| 27 Jun 2019 | 09:58

By Laurie GordON
The Biron family has made a little birdhouse in the souls of the many regulars and out-of-towners who frequent their quaint restaurant on Route 94 in Newton. Hummingbird House features homemade breakfast and lunch, special high teas for showers and other occasions. and made-to-order items for those with special dietary needs. In the six years that it's been open, Liz Biron said the philosophy of fresh food and truly caring about customers has remained a tried and true backbone of the business.
After graduating from Kittatinny Regional High School, Liz started her culinary career at Penn State University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Hotel Restaurant Institutional Management with a focus in Nutrition and Human Resources with a focus in Nutrition and Human Resources. She has followed an impressive career path helping others open and manage different operations but always had a dream of opening her own restaurant.
As fate would have it, her mother, Sheryl, happened upon a listing for the sale of the former Tea Hive restaurant. She contacted Liz, who was living and working in Florida at the time, and the concept for Hummingbird House unfolded. The restaurant would be family oriented and represent two of the great legacies of Liz's life. Her father, Mike Biron, loved making breakfast and it would frequently be a special family time. Her grandmother, “Mema” Elizabeth Lopatesky, was a wonderful cook who spent her later days making the local priests lunch weekly.
HISTORY: Hummingbird House was known as the James Mattison House. This house was purchased in the late 1700s, probably around 1793, by James Mattison who had come to Sussex County between 1780-1785. The farm, a very large parcel with divisions over the years, remained in the Mattison family until at least 1869. An addition was added to the house in the early to mid 1800s.
Older deeds show that the rites of passage probably went from Jonathan Hampton, John Chetwood, and John Blanchard, James Morrow, Henry Hoover and then on to James Mattison. Other deeds show that smaller parcels of land were sold off from the original farm. A man named Samuel Washer owned the farm in the early 1920s; here he raised ducks and geese. He made a pond from one of the numerous springs in the area. When he sold the property, he sold his geese and duck houses in 3 section of about 30 feed to George Snook, Mr. Bales and William Commings.
The Hummingbird House is not only built on a menu of family traditions and recipes but it has been incorporated into the restaurant name and logo. The hummingbird has a significant meaning because the bird would frequent the family after Mike Biron passed. The family feels that the hummingbird would visit to let them know that the future would be great. In addition to the bird being apart of the logo the strong mountain behind it is the beautiful Burgess Adirondack Mountain where Mike’s ashes rest.
“Over the past six years, the business' philosophy has remained the same and we are stead fast to providing excellent, made-from-scratch food along with an atmosphere where people feel right at home,” Liz said. “We also cater to any sort of special diet.”
Liz is, herself, a type one diabetic and has been since a very young age. She recently diagnosed type one diabetes in her two-year-old nephew, Noah.
“I was noticing that he was drinking a lot of water and that something was just not right,” she said. “I got my test kit and sure enough, it turned out to be type one diabetes.”
Now, as her nephew and his parents adjust to the dietary needs for the disease, Liz has committed herself to providing more kid-friendly foods that comply with a low carb and other specifically needed diets.
“We want families to be able to go out and eat despite having dietary challenges,” she said. “We can prepare food for just about any special diet out there.”
During Hummingbird House's tenure, Liz said challenges and blessings have included being in Sussex County.
“There's no place like Sussex County, and I love it here,” she said. “I was born and raised here and it's so great that we have access to so much freshly grown food and berries. The challenge lies in that many people commute to go to work and it's hard to find good employees. When we do, we hang on to them and they have become my friends and like family. We try to encapsulate enjoying life as well as working which is what my dad was all about. We all work hard but also play hard and enjoy. When it comes to the customers, we're here to listen if they've had a bad day or celebrate with them when something good has happened.”
Liz sources naturally grown produce where she even knows what goes into the soil. One of her key sources is Goodness Grows, a CSA and produce farm located on Potters Road in Stillwater. He provides Hummingbird House with peppers, greens and 27 varieties of tomatoes which Liz incorporates into the menu.
“We've always used healthy, non-processed foods:nothing comes from a jar or a can,” she said, “It's also my mission to always find new healthy items. We have staples on the menu that my regulars count on and love, and we also seasonally incorporate other fresh options depending on what's in season.”
As summer approaches, Liz always looks forward to concocting new types of jam using fresh, Sussex County grown berries.
“We, as a family, decided to do what dad loved best, giving back to the community,” she said. “We created the Mike Biron Field of Dreams Foundation, a foundation to light the Hampton Township Recreation Fields in Hampton Township. The field of dreams was an idea dad had to light the local ballfields so children could be safe while playing at 'The Pit' (aka Hampton Park).”
Hummingbird House is about family, and Liz is thankful to her mother, her husband, Alfred Noce, and all of her family, friends and customers who continue to make Hummingbird House a go-to destination for breakfast, lunch and special occasions.
“We hope that you will join us for not only a special breakfast or lunch but for special treatment,” Liz said. “We put the emphasis on people, both patrons and staff. We focus on enabling our staff to provide each of our guests the fresh food and friendly service that they have come to expect of us.”
Hummingbird House is located at 310 Route 94 South in Newton. Call 973-300-0333, or visit Find Hummingbird House on Facebook at: