By Sydney Stoller
If you’re passing through North Salem and looking for a quick and delicious breakfast or lunch, then the popular Hayfields Café & Florist is the place for you.
Located on the corner of Route 121 and Bloomer Road, Hayfields is a respite for its visitors. Its friendly atmosphere and fresh food beckons commuters to try the classic bacon, egg and cheese or the more adventurous Breakfast Scrambler, an egg sandwich with spinach, feta and sundried tomato.
The menu isn’t limited to breakfast. Hayfields also caters to the lunchtime crowd on the fly by offering sandwiches such as the Fricken Chicken (chicken cutlet, melted mozzarella, arugula and tomato aioli). If guests have time to sit down and enjoy their lunch outside on the patio in good weather, they can try short rib or buffalo chicken tacos and salads like the “Keen-Wah” (quinoa, sweet potato, cranberries, kale and Meyer lemon dressing).
In addition to their breakfast and lunch selections, pastries, coffee products and plants, the café also boasts products created by local artisans, including artwork, greeting cards, homemade jams, honey and pickles.
Part owner Renea Dayton said it’s important for Hayfields to support its community, and she enjoys showcasing the local artisans’ talents and passion projects.
Dayton, a Houston native, said she has always been inclined toward country living, so it was a natural progression for her when she opened Hayfields in 2015. Her husband has been a longtime North Salem resident.
When she started the business with a passion for flowers and all things green, Dayton did not expect Hayfields to become the center of community camaraderie that it is today. Not only is it a place to pick up a meal or local product, but the café has become a place to gather.
“We don’t have a main street in North Salem, so Hayfields kind of acts like one,” Dayton said. “There aren’t many places to go (in town) to just hang out with fast casual food, so it became the community hub.”
When Dayton and her staff realized that they had inadvertently taken the title as town gathering spot, they sprang into action. They scheduled events such as trivia nights and live music and promotions like Cars and Coffee, where one Sunday a month, drivers pay to reserve parking spots for their antique cars for a free cup of coffee.
In addition, the café has hosted flower arrangement workshops and an assortment of family-friendly events.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hayfields’ programming has been suspended, but the staff has plans to return with additional events when it is safe to do so.
The wide variety of programs is necessary for Dayton to achieve her goal of creating a space where everyone feels welcome.
“I didn’t want a store that only brought in one type of clientele or customer,” Dayton explained. “At the store, you’ll see anyone from landscapers in their tattered jeans, to equestrian riders, to women having lunch, to commuters, to families, to business people. Hayfields has a small town, charmy feel with good service, so we really get it all.”
Whether you are seeking a meal, flower arrangement, artisanal pickles or just a comforting small-town environment, you will find what you need at Hayfields.
Hayfields’ current hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. It is located at 1 Bloomer Rd. in North Salem.
For more information, call 914-669-8275 or visit www.hayfieldsmarket.com.