A Virtual Food Hall is Born in South Jersey
FoodieHall is a new virtual food hall and e-restaurant focusing on an innovative food delivery concept that will open at 1931 Olney Avenue in Cherry Hill in February 2022. The restaurant-quality delivery-only operation will be the first of its kind in South Jersey.
Owners Nick Ballias and Dan Goldberg devised the idea of a multi-concept delivery-only virtual kitchen during the pandemic. In 2020, together they formed the company Apparition Kitchen, LLC and began to put the wheels into motion of developing the new food business which they plan to eventually franchise.
Ballias is a 20-year restaurant industry veteran who operates restaurants in Atlantic City, such as Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar. Goldberg is the former President of a commercial laundry service for the hospitality industry. They chose to open in the Cherry Hill area because of its dense population in the surrounding area. Other potential areas are being researched to open more Foodie Hall locations.
“The food delivery industry has grown rapidly in the past few years and will triple in just a couple of years,” Ballias remarked. “When the pandemic hit, we knew this was an opportunity for a creative new venture that focuses on a true customer-driven food delivery service.”
They tapped local chef Georgeann Leaming as its Culinary Director. She leads the menu development and will manage the daily operations at the location. Chef Leaming, who served as the Executive Chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak, and
Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Atlantic City, as well as Chef de Cuisine at Chef Daniel Stern’s R2L in Philadelphia. Leaming, who has also been featured on the pilot episode of Hulu’s Man vs. Master: Chef Battle, draws inspiration from her time working in a variety of busy kitchens. She has co-owned two Philadelphia eateries, including Samwich, where she earned Best of Philly accolades from Philadelphia magazine for “Best Fried Chicken Sandwich” in 2016.
FoodieHall will operate out of a state-of-the-art 4,000 square-foot kitchen next to Bury the Hatchet Axe Throwing in the busy industrial park located on Olney Avenue, not far from Route 70.
“FoodieHall is 100 percent developed for delivery, from fast-casual to upscale with choices everyone will enjoy,” said Goldberg. “Families will no longer have to compromise on one restaurant, as we will have options for everyone. We are thrilled to have Georgeann on board to develop a plethora of high-end restaurant concepts, with a wide variety of menu options for everyone.”
Multi Cuisine Food Delivery in South Jersey
What sets Foodie Hall apart from “ghost kitchens” (restaurant brands that operate in existing kitchens of other restaurants) is that it will offer a variety of cuisines and menus which customers can place a single order and have delivered at the same time. Recognizing that some people in the same household may want something different, Foodie Hall will deliver hot, fresh food that will satisfy everybody’s tastes and dietary needs. Do you want pizza but your significant other wants burritos? You can get them delivered at the same time from a centralized kitchen. No need to compromise on your craving or have separate orders delivered to your home address.
FoodieHall’s restaurant concepts include Dando Tacos; Fornire Italian Kitchen (high-end Italian); Canting Noodle Bar (Asian); Criss Crust (pizza); Simply Fowl (casual chicken), and DaNick’s Craft burgers. There will also be dedicated kid’s menus, and all individual orders will arrive together via delivery inside secure, tamper-proof, recyclable packaging designed for later reheating. Orders can be placed directly through FoodieHall’s website (coming soon), as well as other established food delivery companies such as Grubhub, DoorDash, UberEats, etc.
“We are really excited about this new concept,” said Ballias. “With all that is going on in the world right now, we believe this is the type of restaurant operation that should be extremely successful from the start. It will give customers a brand new type of at-home dining experience, and we will begin to develop additional concepts once we get rolling.”
The company is currently hiring cooks in advance of its planned opening.
Feeding Ourselves and Helping to Feed Others
At the forefront of FoodieHall’s mission is its Meal4Meal program. For every meal ordered, the business will donate a meal to Feeding America, which supports food banks nationwide, which is a cause I think we can all get behind.
“Meal4Meal is a vitally important element to our mission to support the community where we live and work,” said Ballias. “We founded the Meal4Meal concept because too many of our neighbors do not have adequate food to eat. We’re determined to be part of a solution to help others.”
Stay tuned for more details as we receive them or follow @FoodieHallNJ on Instagram.
Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.