Michelle's Brown Bag Café, a gourmet breakfast and sandwich shop, has just opened  in downtown Sarasota at 32 S. Osprey Avenue, just south of Main Street. Originating in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2005, the Brown Bag, as it’s known, made its mark in this well established resort town, providing locals, cruise ship and national park visitors their daily breakfast and lunches. It plans to do the same in its new Sarasota home.
              “I grew up in Miami and missed the Florida lifestyle,” remarked owner Michelle Connor. “When I realized Michelle’s Brown Bag Café could be just as successful in Sarasota, I didn’t hesitate to make the move. We are very excited to have this great location, in the middle of downtown and look forward to getting known and establishing the Brown Bag in its new hometown.”
               Michelle's Brown Bag Café is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. It offers breakfast from 8am-11am with a menu that includes warm muffins, scones, bagels, homemade cream cheeses, egg sandwiches and huge breakfast wraps which are filled with a variety of fresh, healthy ingredients. Fresh coffees & smoothies are available throughout the day.
The Brown Bag’s sandwiches and salads are prepared with the hearty eater in mind. Among the menu’s many unique items are a chicken salad topped with granny smith apples and crumbled gorgonzola; a smoked salmon sandwich paired with goat cheese; and of course, Maine lobster salad! Condiments range from unique cheeses to sweet pickled red onions and homemade herbed stuffing. All items are available to go for home or office. Panini choices also grace the menu, along with daily soups and specials. A self-service deli case has the busy workplace in mind. Downtown delivery and catering are available for business meetings and private functions. Outside patio seating and beer/wine are expected to be added soon.
 Michelle Connor is a Miami native and moved to Bar Harbor with her family in the summer of 1992. While attending UNH, she learned about the hospitality industry by working in family businesses, doing everything from operating a lobster pound to working in a AAA four-diamond French restaurant, Michelle's Fine Dining at the Ivy Manor Inn. This experience with fine dining sparked an interest in fine wines, and in 2004, Michelle earned her sommelier certificate. In 2005 Michelle realized the town of Bar Harbor needed a gourmet sandwich shop and from that idea Michelle’s Brown Bag Cafe became one of the busiest restaurants on the island.
“The Brown Bag will be sorely missed in Maine this year,” commented Chris Coston, Bar Harbor resident and business owner. “I, along with all the Bar Harbor merchants, watched Michelle grow into this business and I venture to say, they would all agree that the residents and visitors in Sarasota are in for a real treat. Michelle’s offerings are unique and delicious. It won’t take long for her to establish the same great reputation here as she did in Bar Harbor.”
For more information or to place an order, call 941-365-5858.