Piccolo Cucina e Vino opens at the former Something Sweet Café in Middletown

Many Middletown residents will recognize Anna and Dave Madden as the creators of Run 4 Downtown, the run/walk to raise money for a downtown beautification, or as the owners of Something Sweet Café on North Street.

The couple opened the café in 2004, but like many, the pandemic has prompted them to rethink their priorities. Therefore, they decided to reimagine the work as a celebration of Anna Madden’s Italian heritage and her maiden name. The result is the newly opened Piccolo Cocina e Vino, which held its ribbon cutting on June 9.

“Since the beginning of Something Sweet, I wanted to offer that Italian part of my heritage, but it never worked,” Anna Madden said. “I knew that if I wanted to do this kind of list and ideas, we had to change everything.”

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Wine selection at Piccolo Cucina e Vino in Middletown.

reimagining

Maddens has kept the original cafe open throughout the pandemic, prioritizing employees who can keep them. With people returning to a new normal, the café faced staffing challenges, Madden underwent surgery, and equipment began to fail. Then, to start this year, the café lost two key players: the baker and the cook.

“We’ve been really struggling for a year and a half because of all the issues,” Madden said. “Everything was going well.” “We really had to start thinking about what we were going to do to stay open and in business. I didn’t want to do that.”

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