Newark’s fast-casual dining market will receive a new competitor when Mac Mart opens in the Main Street Galleria in late April or early May.
The Philadelphia-based “mac ‘n cheesery” will fill the space formerly occupied by Saladworks on the Galleria’s first floor.
Mac Mart began in 2013. Owner Marti Lieberman, a graduate of Drexel University, was struggling to find a position locally in fashion public relations. She decided instead to debut a food truck on Drexel’s campus to sell her famous cheese sauce, which she often made for friends in school. Her sister and boyfriend soon joined the business venture. Her sister, Pamela, helped expand recipes, while her boyfriend, Garrett, handled much of the back-of-house operations.
“It’s trial-and-error—you try hard and hit the ground running,” Lieberman says.
As the food truck grew a large online following, Lieberman knew the next step was a brick-and-mortar location, which she opened near Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square in 2016.
Mac Mart is coming soon to Newark’s Main Street
Next, Lieberman wanted to bring Mac Mart to another college campus. After several tours, she determined that the University of Delaware was the best fit.
“We liked the intimate feel of town and community, but it is big enough for the business,” Lieberman says.
At Mac Mart, customers can build their own mac-and-cheese creations or choose from the restaurant’s menu of suggested combinations. Coated in Lieberman’s signature seven-cheese sauce, the creamy pasta can be topped with everything from pulled pork to bacon to crab. Crunchy toppings include potato-chip panko crumbs and fried onions. The creations are prepared in less than a minute.
Lieberman and her team have their eyes set on additional expansions, including a possible foray into wholesale distribution, though nothing is currently set in stone. For now, the focus is on working out kinks at the Newark location.
Follow @themacmart on Instagram.