Hermit Woods Embarks on Culinary Collaboration with Sweet Mercy, Former Owner of Osteria Poggio

Posted 01/24/24

Kaylon Sweet, renowned as Sweet Mercy following his tenure at Osteria Poggio, is set to helm the kitchen at Hermit Woods Winery & Eatery starting February 1st, 2024. After nearly six successful years, Kaylon, affectionately known as “Sweets” by friends, made the decision to close Osteria Poggio, prompting the owners of Hermit Woods to extend a warm welcome. Co-Founder Bob Manley expressed, “While we were saddened by the closure of Osteria Poggio, we’re thrilled to have Sweets embark on his next adventure with Hermit Woods.”

Sweets, along with his close-knit team, will commence their journey at Hermit Woods on Thursday, February 1st. Sweets brings his distinctive culinary style to the Hermit Woods Kitchen, offering guests a unique and delightful dining experience. Dinner service will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings, with plans for a Sunday brunch in the pipeline. Initially operating from Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant will soon expand to five days a week. On the kitchen’s off-days, a prepared menu will be available for both take-out and dine-in options.

Further expanding his collaboration with Hermit Woods, Kaylon will rekindle his partnership with Birch Rise Farm, introducing Sweet Mercy’s food truck to the Hermit Woods Beer and Wine Garden at 62 Main Street, just across from the winery, this spring. There will be more on this subject as Spring approaches.

Reflecting on his time at Osteria Poggio, Sweets shared, “Being Chef Owner was an incredible journey of learning and personal growth. Connecting with guests was the most rewarding aspect, and I’ll miss those experiences. I hope my friends and Osteria Poggio followers find their way to my new home, continuing this exciting journey.”

Bob Manley expressed his excitement, stating, “Having known Sweets for many years, I’m honored to welcome him to our team. His expertise and service will elevate our winery experience, complementing the exceptional wines crafted by my partner, Ken Hardcastle. We look forward to an exciting future, and we invite our guests to share in that excitement.”

As of February 1st, Hermit Woods is open seven days a week, with the kitchen operating Thursday through Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM, with dinners starting on Fridays and Saturdays till 830 and brunch on Sundays.  Additionally, the kitchen will be open for all performances in The Loft.