More than 2 decades ago, Jennifer Cox owned a food truck “before it was cool”. Today, she and her husband, Glenn, own one of the most popular dining spots in Syracuse, Crazy Daisies Garden Cafe.
In April 2006, the Cox family began their plant business with the opening of their first greenhouse. In 2012 they added a barn and started selling their produce. The success of the family business led to bigger more imaginative dreams for their future. In the summer of 2018, one of the Cox children suggested they start selling breakfast sandwiches on the weekends. That then led to small plates and alcohol to the full menu that they serve today.
Crazy Daisies is a True Family Business
While officially owned by parents Jennifer and Glenn, all of the members of the Cox family work hard to make Crazy Daisies the successful business that it is. Before moving on to other ventures, the eldest son, Ryeland, helped get Crazy Daisies on its feet. Now, the other 5 siblings help run the restaurant and greenhouses: Harrison, Henry, Gwendolyn, Wyatt, and Zinnia. At just 20 years old, Gwendolyn runs the kitchen. That’s right. She’s in charge. And the family wouldn’t have it any other way!
Made up of the Cox family and friends, Crazy Daisies has a youthful vibe. The family and their fellow employees are fluid, always pivoting and adjusting their business plans based on their experiences.
As for the future of the business? “The hope is that the kids come up with the next big dreams,” Jennifer proudly shared.
The Menu is Sourced Entirely from New York State
The success of the greenhouse led to the addition of the cafe, and plants are still at its roots. All of the ingredients are sourced within New York State, and Jennifer is very mindful of every ingredient that is used in their kitchen. Edible flowers and herbs from the greenhouses are used in various dishes and drinks. Everything that’s brought in is from local businesses in the area: Muranda Cheese, Salt City Coffee, Red Gate Grocer, Dutch Hill Maple, and 2 Kids Goat Farm. New York breweries and wineries supply the alcohol. And all of the meat is from humanely raised animals and free of nitrates.
The Most Famous Mimosa Flights in Syracuse
So what’s on the menu at Crazy Daisies? A little of everything! If you’re from the
Syracuse area, chances are you’ve seen a picture of their mimosa flight on social media. Because they are beautiful! But there’s more to the menu than delicious mimosas.
One of the highlights is their pizza, made with homemade dough that Jennifer took two years to perfect. Then there are the salads and sandwiches, made with the freshest ingredients around. But don’t forget the appetizers! Jennifer and I share a favorite menu item: the baked burrata and pesto. Yum! Plus there are cheese & charcuterie boards, a hummus platter, and more.
Supporting Fellow Local Businesses
When Jennifer first started Crazy Daisies, she had nothing but empty pockets and big dreams. But through a lot of hard work and a great support network, she’s been able to build a successful business. So it’s important to the family that they do the same for others. Right from the start, Crazy Daisies has hosted pop-ups for local bakers and crafters who don’t have their own storefronts. The outdoor space serves as a venue for local musicians. According to Jennifer, “As a person, I think we should pay it forward whenever we can.”
This includes offering kitchen space to Kaehla Gardner, the baker behind The Mixing Bowl. Kaehla also makes all of the baked goods and breads that are sold and used in the dishes at Crazy Daisies.
The Future of Crazy Daisies
To be honest, the future of the business is in the hands of the Cox children. Jennifer and Glenn encourage them to be creative, take risks, and pursue their dreams. For now, an outdoor bar is being built. Later this summer, customers will be able to purchase or cut their own flowers, and there will be a sunflower patch to visit.
Jennifer adds, “We are so blessed. We are so thankful for the community. I’m living my dream.”
4693 Kasson Road
Syracuse, NY 13215