The coffee/tea house is very unique and special in this endeavor. Perhaps the most important piece. The focal point if you will. The coffee house itself is crucial as it is the vehicle for creating the community hub and in building community. (More on this later.) After all, between a coffee house and community resource center, where would you go? I have trouble imagining people flocking to a community resource center standing alone by itself.
With that being said, it must be simple. I’ve toggled back and forth over the years on what to do with it. Should it be a full service cafe/restaurant? Or, should it be a simple coffee house? I so much want it to be a cafe, since I have a passion for building community through food. But, the wisdom of simplicity won out.
So, what does that look like?
The coffee house will be full service, order at the counter, and we’ll deliver it to your table. Chalk boards with menu items hanging down. There will be good eats on the menu, including: sandwiches, soups, and bakery items — catered to people with and without food allergies. Hot drinks, of course. Including some specialty coffees (would prefer fair trade), latte, expresso, capachino, hot teas, hot apple cider, and chai. Cold drinks. Menu items will be cross marketed from local bakeries and caters. Meaning, we’ll sell their stuff… and, promote it.
Thus eliminating the need for a large scale full service commercial kitchen and dealing with less commercial codes that would accompany a restaurant/cafe. This will also build ties and relationships within the local food business community. Empowering patrons to buy from local food establishments, connecting people to surrounding businesses they may not have been aware of, and broadening their taste buds. Simplicity with social responsibility.
There will be seating areas including overstuffed, inviting sofa and chairs, adequate lighting for reading and computer usage, wi-fi, used books to read, and board games; the eating areas will include tables and chairs, and some booths; there will be an outdoor patio and porch. There will also be an area for live music and room on the walls for art. Bulletin boards with neighborhood happenings. Space for a community center, I foresee an upstairs.
Simple coffee house.