Our fearless leader, Meridith Coyle, decided to follow in her family's long history of revolutionizing the food industry. Growing up, her parents, Richard and Irene Coyle, owned over 28 restaurants bringing trends from all over the world to our area...including the beloved Binni & Flynn's.
I’m often asked how I came up with the idea of Aneu. I would love to tell you that I am the most creative person in the world, and it all came naturally, but that wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is, my mom and dad, Irene and Richard Coyle, were in the restaurant industry my entire life. I was 8 years old when I started working outside of their center city restaurant during the mummers parades making the non-alcoholic versions of strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas (which we sell at Aneu presently). I worked the counter of their diner and had my own customers by the age of 9. My dad used to say I was the most accurate and best waitress he had. I loved the interaction with the fun dancing characters that came up to our storefront and the regulars that came in for breakfast on their way to their busy lives. I really grew love for the service industry in my blood and still have it to this day.
Many of you may remember the beginning of my story with the Farmer’s Market. And from the Farmer’s market, to Meridith’s. However, at the age of 22 I was destined to be a Social Worker. I had left for graduate school determined for a degree in Psychology and Law, but as most stories go, my dad became sick. I took a leave of absence to help with his adorable little shop in the Paoli shopping center; Fresh Ideas. My love for the service industry immediately set back in and I couldn’t imagine a life elsewhere. What was at the crux of my stand at the Farmer’s market and has followed since, are all the recipes my dad had at his store. The loyalty and support for my father’s business from this community is what has kept me going for so many years and will now keep my daughters going for so many more. Recipes like the Richards Chicken (my dad loved to be the center of attention, lol), Orzo Salad and California Crunch are as popular today as they were in 1989.
This all being said, I am not the traditional trained chef that most think I am. I love to cook for people, simple as that. When my father got sick, a passion for recipe development and clean eating developed. I grew a skill and practiced it on my own in my little kitchen in Chesterbrooke and would bring those recipes to sell at the Farmer’s Market. The mainline community supported this love of mine and made me realize that I have something good to bring to the table. I now hold certifications in cooking for health, vegan cooking and integrative nutrition. There have been so many dietary restrictions to meet, so many health concerns to navigate. All of our recipes at Aneu now fit into my beliefs on clean eating and living a long and healthy life. The reality is they always did and I just didn’t know that was where our world and trends would tip so many years later. But overall, the most important thing I’ve learned is that you must cook with love. Every recipe should have that in it. Sprinkle the dish with love and it will bring health and happiness to all those who get to enjoy. I mean that! The slow cooking of risotto can be seen as a burden OR a meditation that betters you and those who eat it. I choose the latter and always have.
My business blossomed from Farmer’s Market to Restaurant. From Restaurant to Catering. From Catering to Kitchen & Juicery, and they’ve all built off one another in the most organic way. To provide for my family and do what I love. I’ve had a lot of paid-for support, which has given good and bad advice, such as the branding of ‘Meridith’s’, which, at the time, embarrassed me on a daily. But that chapter served its purpose and directed me towards Aneu. For those who don’t know, Aneu stands for ‘a new beginning beyond compare’. After so many chapters and changes throughout my life, my last and final rebrand was, quite literally, a new beginning beyond comparison. I have changed names and locations, but my values have stayed the same - to help my community enjoy comfort food made healthy. .
Now that my girls help run the company I started so long ago, I am blessed to have the time to travel! I travel for food!!! I eat for our customers (great excuse don’t you think)!! That’s how new ideas emerge for your enjoyment at Aneu. Seeing what other amazing chefs and people are doing around the world and figuring out a way to make them fit within the parameters of health and wellness that we are always trying to promote at Aneu is so fun. Similarly our customers travel and find yummy dishes and tell us all about them. You guys travel a lot! If you would like us to make something you have seen on your travels, please send a picture and we will definitely try to make it, and make a healthy version of it. Just today in the airport I was looking at my email and someone sent me a recipe for a “keto bomb”, which looked so similar to our peppermint patties without sugar. Well guess what! I sent the recipe to our incredible pastry chef, and I’m sure upon my return we will have those on our shelves. Now I can eat them, yay!! We definitely don’t recreate the wheel here at Aneu, but we do try to make it so everyone can enjoy a healthier version of their old favorites. So when you stop in please look closely. You never know what we will have brought home from our travels.
Below I have included a healthier take on one of my father’s recipes that I cherish deeply. I remember coming home from various sports practices after school and seeing my dad (yes, he was the cook in our house) making an incredible meal. Perhaps one of his legendary pasta sauces. The most legendary dish of his was this crab and spaghetti with lemon and hot peppers. My God if I could have that just one more time, I would be the happiest woman in the world. I have tried to duplicate this recipe 100 times while making it healthier and although it doesn’t feel the same for me, my family will tell you my version is one they always love. It isn’t the creamy cheesy version my dad made, but I try to give it the same amount of love and care that my dad used all those years ago.
Start cooking the spaghetti as per directions on the box, with a good amount of salt…before you drain the spaghetti dip a nice sized coffee cup in the water and put aside.
Sauté shallots in a nice amount of olive oil (I coat the bottom of the pan…and the pan needs to be big enough to hold all of the above ingredients) on medium heat (don’t overheat olive oil) until they are nice and soft about 10 minutes…add the squeeze of anchovy paste and stir in with the shallots….add the red pepper flakes…stir for one minute
Zest the lemon and put aside
Cut the swiss chard really small…its called chiffonade and would be best if you do that, but just small is good enough….take out the vein in the middle of each leaf. Put aside.
Go back to the pot and add the shard or spinach, add the cooked spaghetti and stir together. Once you have all the ingredients incorporated and looking beautiful add the heavy cream and pasta water and stir….add the crab and stir softly so you don’t break it all up….add the lemon zest and juice the lemon directly in to the sauce….add the parmesan and salt and pepper and stir all together one more time and you are finished!!! Enjoy
All the creations at Aneu are made with love. Every one of our amazing chefs brings their special talents to the table each and every day to showcase something from their life experience to share with your families. What an amazing legacy for so many of us.