LuLu’s Lunchbox, a new breakfast and lunch takeout establishment on Lafayette Street in Norwich is off to a very strong start, according to owner Melissa Stone.

The restaurant, which opened earlier this year, is located in the former Linda’s Market where Melissa worked as a kid growing up in Norwich. Melissa and her husband, Brad, purchased the building in the summer of 2014, and worked to renovate a vacant building into a small business that is doing well in its first few months, offering takeout and delivery food to homes and businesses throughout the city.

Melissa said the biggest challenges she faced in opening LuLu’s Lunchbox, which is named for Melissa’s grandmother, Louise Boldrighine, was the brutal winter of 2015. While the accumulating snow made it difficult for her customers to get in to LuLu’s (and her deliveries to get out), the word-of-mouth reputation for quality food began to spread once the weather improved.

While the permitting process can be intimidating for any new, small business owner, Melissa’s interactions with both the City of Norwich and NPU went very smoothly. She attributes this to her business experience in construction and an understanding of the requirements needed to get started. With the logistics and permitting in place in a seamless manner, she was able to focus on developing a menu with seasonal adjustments and providing her customers with great food.