Firefly Cafe
Phone: 540-450-8544
Address: 3035 Valley Ave. #101
Winchester, VA 22601

Press: our made-from-scratch menu highlighted

Posted: April 8, 2015
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — The new Firefly Cafe and Bakery has achieved three weeks of success selling freshly baked goods.
“It’s hard to believe [it’s already been three weeks],” said Darren Ward, operations manager of the restaurant. “And we’re all surviving.”
Firefly, located at 3035 Valley Ave., was the brainchild of NW Works Chief Executive Officer John Brauer. The full-service restaurant serves as a training ground for disabled individuals at NW Works.
It was named Firefly because, like the firefly that looks ordinary by day and lights up brilliantly at night, people may outwardly seem one way, but it’s who they are inside that truly matters, according to
This can be true for people with disabilities.
“This has been something that’s been in the works for five-plus years,” Brauer said. “The concept is it has to be a great restaurant first. I really want people to come because the food is just excellent.”

This is a candied pecan gorgonzola salad at Firefly Cafe, which opened three weeks ago on Valley Avenue. The cafe trains people with disabilities and is a full-functioning restaurant. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
The restaurant is decorated in green, seats about 60 people and is a casual dining experience.
For consumption is a range of in-house breakfast items, sandwiches and baked goods, which fill a glass case by the register.
The restaurant also has a selection of about 20 beverages, including mocha, chai latte and hot chocolate.
“I think we do a fabulous job with the food,” Ward said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished. I think we do it the right way, and it’s going to be the foundation for our success.”
According to bakery manager Becky McGraw, Firefly has 15 to 20 selections baked each morning.
“We really strive to create everything from scratch,” McGraw said.
She added that many of the selections are items that customers may remember as childhood treats, like cinnamon rolls, brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
There are also twists on classic sweets like cheesecake bars and Rice Krispies treats, which are made using browned butter.
The breakfast and sandwich selections include quiche, fresh croissants, bagels, turkey wraps, ham sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches and more.
Like the baked goods, most of these are made from scratch at the restaurant, including the pulled pork sandwich’s barbecue sauce, which is made with molasses and root beer.
So far, business has been good, said Ward, but they hope breakfast will catch on more.
“That’s one area we want to focus on,” he said. “Lunch is crazy, but breakfast is still a little quiet.”
The restaurant will soon offer catering.

Darren Ward (left) and Troy Hawkins make a salad and sandwich in the kitchen of Firefly Cafe.

Asian slaw
6 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
16 ounces of coleslaw mix
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Toss coleslaw mix with scallions and red onions until thoroughly mixed. Stir remaining ingredients together in a bowl until well blended, then pour over vegetables right before serving.
— Contact Stephen Nielsen at

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  • Hours of Operation

    Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Sunday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

  • Directions