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Meet the Business Owners Waking Up Windsor Terrace's 'Sleepy' Food Scene

By Leslie Albrecht | February 5, 2016 6:50pm | Updated on February 8, 2016 8:23am
 Jane Miller Rennert and Jeremiah Fox are behind four Prospect Avenue businesses: the Italian restaurant Della, The Prospector, The Fox & The Crepes and Juice Box Wines & Spirits.
Jane Miller Rennert and Jeremiah Fox are behind four Prospect Avenue businesses: the Italian restaurant Della, The Prospector, The Fox & The Crepes and Juice Box Wines & Spirits.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

WINDSOR TERRACE — If you've had something tasty to eat or drink on Prospect Avenue near Reeve Place recently, there's a good chance Jeremiah Fox and Jane Miller Rennert had something to do with it.

With the recent opening of the restaurant and bar Della, the business partners now run four food-related businesses all within spitting distance of each other. Their mini empire includes Juice Box Wine & Spirits, the upscale grocery store The Prospector, and The Fox & The Crepes, a coffee shop and creperie.

"Windsor Terrace has been so sleepy," Miller Rennert said. "The neighborhood is excited to have options."

The busy pair, who both live in the neighborhood, have had a presence on Prospect Avenue since late 2007, when Miller Rennert launched Juice Box Wine & Spirits with her brother and hired Fox to manage it.

Since then the area has seen its culinary options expand with the arrival of the mostly organic, locally-sourced Brooklyn Commune cafe in 2010 and Le Paddock, a French bistro, in 2011.

But Miller Rennert and Fox had a hunch locals wanted even more, and they teamed up to open a pop-up wine bar called Nanny Goat Hill inside Crossroads Cafe. The enthusiastic response taught them there was enough local appetite to support another restaurant, so they hit the pavement to find a space to rent.

They found the spot that eventually became Della back in 2013 and spent more than two years planning and renovating. (The process slowed a bit while Miller Rennert had a baby daughter, who shares a name with the new eatery.)

In the middle of remodeling the Della space, the partners spotted a For Rent sign directly across the street. The landlord took a liking to the entrepreneurs and offered them two side-by-side storefronts. Fox and Miller Rennert opened The Fox & The Crepes and The Prospector right next door to each other in August 2015.

At Juice Box Wine & Spirits, Fox and Miller Rennert have worked to provide customers with more interesting wines than the "wall of Yellow Tail" typically found at vino shops, Fox said.

Their newer businesses also work to serve previously untapped markets.

The Fox & The Crepes is the neighborhood's first creperie, and The Prospector stocks "small producers that don't get much of a spotlight in big stores," including Brooklyn-based War Flag beer, Red Hook's Nobletree Coffee and Early Bird granola, Fox said.

At Della, the emphasis is also on "well-edited" foods — entrees don't have "frou frou extras," Miller Rennert said. The menu includes housemade pastas, roast chicken and farro salad.

Their four businesses keep them running from 6:30 a.m. to midnight, but Miller Rennert and Fox said they're not done yet. They're considering adding a food truck to their repertoire and could apply for a license to serve sandwiches at The Prospector.

They're motivated by the response they've gotten from residents, they said.

"Everyone is so happy to not have to leave the neighborhood to get good food and good wine," Miller Rennert said.

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