Why should food and wine have all the
pairing fun? Coffee pairings are just as
informative and entertaining.
economy, people don’t have a discretionary
income to spend at high-end restaurants.
“But something quick and healthy—that’s
what I can provide,” he says. “And if you
incorporate natural, fresh, locally grown,
people like that.” He boasts about 80
sandwiches and 25 salads, all of which he
prepares to order.
Though some in the coffeehouse business
bask in fewer hours than those working in
restaurants, Stackpoole chooses to keep his
coffee shop open 7: 15 a.m.- 6 p.m., Monday
through Friday, and 8: 15 a.m.- 3 p.m. on
Saturday, meaning he works 70-hour
weeks. The hours are not burdensome
to him. Rather, he gets energy from
community one-on-one time. He is located
in the four-block business community of
a small town of 15,000 people. Meetings
are often held at his tables. “I like the small
community here. You know everyone and
everyone knows you,” he says.
The palate trained on flavor perfection can
be satisfied in a coffee shop environment.
Craig Min, chief executive officer of Lamill
Coffee Boutique, Los Angeles, was raised
in his family’s coffee business. By age 12,
he was roasting coffee, and restaurants
were clients. He fell in love with the
culinary scene. “It was my passion. Food
and taste is my thing,” he says.
Specialty coffee roaster/wholesaler
Coffee Bean International and its Public
Domain coffeehouse, Portland, Ore., take
pleasure in training others about proper
coffee and food pairings. Consider these:
notes with breakfast
breads such as
When he dreamed of opening his own
“retail front,” quality food and beverage
had to be equally balanced—at a time
when coffee shops did not focus much on
food, as they still generally don’t, he notes.
Because he was not a chef by trade, he
tapped the expertise of star chef Michael
Cimarusti of Providence restaurant, Los
Angeles, to develop the menu.
chocolate notes by
pairing with dark
out the deep, rich
body with a meat or
He has served on the board of the local
Chamber of Commerce and was part of the
downtown business association that put him
in working contact with farmers markets.
Selling made-to-order gift baskets filled
with fresh-roasted Michigan coffee,
gourmet chocolates, tea and tea infusers,
and chocolate-covered espresso beans is
another love of his job. “I once did a $350
laundry-basket-size as a prize for one of
the local casinos on its anniversary. I use a
coffee-themed print cellophane wrap and
include a business card inside,” he says.
“It’s another way to market my coffee and
Min focuses on beverage development
and takes a culinary approach, using only
whole ingredients with no syrups, powders
or sugars. For example, rather than squeeze
chocolate syrup into the mocha, he buys
Valrhona chocolate and melts it to a
ganache. One of his signature drinks is
called Coffee and a Jelly Donut. He infuses
a glazed donut in whole milk, then strains
out the donut, leaving donut-flavored milk,
which he steams. He adds strawberry jelly
and a shot of espresso. “It’s layered in a
glass, so you see all the colors,” he says.
out its bright,
fruity blueberry or
by pairing with berry
bar or fruit tart.
Lamill Coffee Boutique fulfills his passion
for beverage and food. “When you look
inside our store, it doesn’t look like a
coffee bar. The environment looks like
a restaurant. But if you dig, you see the
beverage bar and all we do behind it. That
creates the uniqueness.”
Others who want to start a coffeehouse
should consider several things when