Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eating out in Mendham: Wicker Basket

Find the article here:

The Wicker Basket, which was the runner-up for Best
Bagel Shop in the 2010 Best of Mendham-Chester-Washingtown ThisWeek reader poll, is all about speed.

"It's fast service, and I really like the fact that we can get people out of here in a couple of minutes," says shop owner Glenn Schmidle, who, even with a full line of customers on a Saturday morning, can keep the crowd moving at a swift, steady pace. "They really don't have to hang out too long."

Schmidle, who's been in this business for 22 years, attributes the Wicker Basket's speed to the fact that many of the same customers come in. The staffers know them so well that they have their order ready for them as soon as they hear them come into the shop.

"We try to cater to what they like," Schmidle says. "We see them coming and we try to make their stuff."

"It's a family business, and we're trying to make everybody happy," Schmidle says. "They come in, and we try to get them in and out."

Having worked in this business for so long, one of Schmidle's greatest pleasures is seeing some of his customers' children grow up and have children of their own.

"You see the kids grow up," Scmidle says. "They get older and they're still coming in, and their kids are coming in now too."

As for the regulars reading this story, they might notice the shop has gone through some improvements over the past year.

"We did a little facelift again," Schmidle says. "We did the floor, the signs, the fans, the ceiling. We just cleaned it up a little from the last time we did it; kind of finished it off."

Schmidle says he did this to give back to the customers who have already given so much to the Wicker Basket.

"We just like to put something back into the business," Schmidle says.

Besides the overall look, the menu hasn't changed since the last time you've been here, and that's a good thing. The Taylor Ham sandwiches are still at the top of the heap when it comes to popularity, and the Half and Half's — half ice tea, half lemonade — are still bought in huge quantities, especially when it comes to game day at the school.

"Kids seem to come before the sports, you know, like the football players, field hockey and the basketball kids," Schmidle says. "They all seem to come down here before a game, and it's kind of nice."

As for what Schmidle is trying to offer his customers, it's simple.

"I'm just trying to give everybody good-quality stuff for a decent price," Schmidle says. "It's fast service, and I really like it."

WHERE: 84 E. Main St., Suite B, Mendham
TELEPHONE: 973-543-7279
HOURS: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3
p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
CUISINE: Bagels, deli food
DRESS: Casual
THE SCENE: This bagel shop has ample room for the many customers who fill it on a daily basis.
ATMOSPHERE: A fun place with a quick pace
PARKING: In the lot
OWNER: Glenn Schmidle

Know of a restaurant you'd like to read about in MCW This Week? E-mail us at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only issue I have with this place is that the fast pace doesn't slow down, even when the place seems empty there is no doubt you'll be hearing a "next!". I've had friends and family from out of town visit the wicker basket and they all felt a little uneasy about the place. I guess I can see what they're getting at, for someone who hasn't been to the wicker basket, it's not so inviting. They need to slow it down when business is slow. Obviously there isn't much competition in town, and the prime location of the wicker basket on 24 allows it thrive. Still I'd like to bring out-of-towners in to enjoy a Taylor ham egg and cheese (#6) and not feel rushed.