Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crossroads Coffeehouse now open

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM

click to enlarge A rocker and couch sit in the reading area in the front window.
  • A rocker and couch sit in the reading area in the front window.

While others might bring a seashell back from the beach, Jalene Berger and her husband Douglas brought back the inspiration for a new business venture.

The owners of Crossroads Coffeehouse, which opened Monday at 310 Southwest Boulevard, are featuring Intelligentsia Coffee, a small batch roaster out of Chicago that engages in direct-trade coffee.

"It was the best cup of coffee I ever had, but the more I learned about their story, the more interested I became," Jalene says of the coffee the couple first tasted several years ago while on vacation in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.  

With direct-trade coffee, the roaster works with coffee farmers applying the farm-to-table model to the coffee industry, meaning you can follow the beans from where they are grown to the cup you're drinking. The coffeehouse is currently featuring an African blend -- Ikirezi Burundi -- and La Tortuga from Honduras. The initial reaction has been positive for the Bergers. 

click to enlarge A rocker and couch sit in the reading area in the front window.
  • A rocker and couch sit in the reading area in the front window.
"We just opened on Monday and we had a huge response. My husband and I are really hoping this can be a gathering place," says Berger.

Free wi-fi and reasonably priced coffee -- a 12 oz. cup is $1.85 -- is a good way to start. It also helps that the location is well-known for coffee -- the Crossroads Coffeehouse is located at 310 Southwest Boulevard in the former spot occupied by Coffee Girls, which moved to Waldo last year.

"We're hoping to build the same kind of relationship with our neighbors that Coffee Girls had here in the Crossroads," says Berger.

click to enlarge The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.
  • The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.
Coffee is available hot or iced. You can get drip coffee, a chai tea latte, latte or cappucino in 8, 12, and 16 oz. cups. The Purple Haze is a mix of chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut -- which is likely the most decadent thing at the Crossroads Coffeehouse.

An espresso shot ($2), espresso macchiato ($2.75), and espresso americano ($2.75), are all available from the La Mazorcco espresso machine, a dual boiler that was shipped to Kansas City from Florence, Italy.

"That's my 401K, I like to tell customers," says Berger, who is starting a second career after 16 years in the banking industry.

The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.
  • The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.

In addition to serving coffee, the Crossroads Coffeehouse will have fruit smoothies (small, $3.50, large, $4.50) and lemonade. The iced teas sounded interesting (8 oz. $1.65, 16 oz. $2.05) with a ginger plum oolong and king crimson. They also serve hot tea ($1.85, $2.25), including organic blends and infusions of rosehips, chamomile and peppermint.

Breakfast is of the grab-and-go variety: muffins ($1.50), fresh fruit ($1), yogurt parfait with fresh fruit ($3.50) and scones ($1.75). There are also homemade chocolate chip cookies -- which prompted one customer to buy the entire tray on the first day the Crossroad Coffeehouse was open.
 

click to enlarge The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.
  • The tables, which Berger finished herself, and chairs at Crossroads Coffeehouse.
The lunch menu is anchored by the build-your-own grinders with choices of meat, cheese, toppings and dressings on a freshly baked baguette ($7). Kids (and adults) are welcome to order a PBJ with the crusts cut off ($2.50). And there's going to be a daily hot special -- on opening day it was beef stew ($5.50) -- and a soup of the day ($3.50).

"The grinders are impressive -- you almost have to unhinge your jaw to eat one," says Berger.

The Crossroads Coffeehouse will be open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. And even though they just opened, the Bergers still have big plans for the space. In the spring, they intend to build a deck in back, are looking to add musical acts for First Fridays and Second Saturdays, and sell beer and wine.

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