Written by By Karen L. Chandler
West Reading, PA —
Combining a coffee shop with a career in behavioral therapy is part of a life journey for Michele Slaybaugh.
Slaybaugh and her husband, Stan, of Exeter Township, opened Flourish Coffee Shop in the previous location of Caf� Bold in West Reading on April 8.
“We were contacted at the beginning of January by the people who owned the building,” Michele Slaybaugh said. “They knew I had coffee shop experience. It was important that they opened up really quickly.”
As the owner of Exeter’s Expressing Yourself coffee shop from 1999 to 2003, Slaybaugh was inspired by her interactions with her customers.
“People said, ‘you’re such a good listener,’” she said.
The positive experiences encouraged Slaybaugh to go back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State in 2011, her master’s degree in counseling from Eastern University in 2014 and her doctorate in behavioral health, which she completed in December.
The Slaybaughs are leasing the first floor of the building at the intersection of Sixth and Penn avenues.
Although Slaybaugh had been operating her counseling practice, Flourish Behavioral Health, out of her home, she felt the business had grown to the point that she needed an office space.
“This space worked perfectly that I could put my practice in the back,” she said. “We kind of went with it. We spun the name out of what I had for my counseling practice.”
Because the rental was previously occupied by Caf� Bold, Slaybaugh said all the kitchen equipment was already on site that she needed for the new shop.
She explained that the rental needed to be cleaned out and then enhanced for the re-opening with furniture handcrafted by her husband and a complete refresh.
“We made it a bit more classy with black, gold, and ivory,” she said. “It’s simple and classic.”
Indoor seating is available for 26 diners, with room for 14 patrons outside.
The Slaybaughs also included a tech station outfitted for customers to plug in electronics and work from the coffee shop.
Flourish Coffee Shop focuses on espresso-based beverages, a selection of teas, and highlights custom, hand-made sodas. According to Slaybaugh, there are more than 25 coffee flavors available.
Slaybaugh is expanding the food menu which includes an oatmeal bar, breakfast sandwiches, bowls, and fruit and yogurt parfaits, followed by soups, sandwiches, hot paninis and salads.
“Plus we have tons and tons of baked goods,” she said. “We’re finding people love to come and sit.”
And Flourish Coffee Shop is supporting the community with donations to local charities and non-profits, Slaybaugh said.
Although Slaybaugh is focused on her behavioral health clients during the week, she is still excited to blend her two businesses.
“I do enjoy selling behind the counter and serving people Saturdays and Sundays,” she said.
Flourish Coffee Shop
Location: 550 Penn Ave., West Reading
Facebook: Flourish Coffee Shop & Flourish Behavioral Health
Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For centuries, dogs have been man’s best friend, loyal companion, and protector. Just look at how many movies have been made about a cute canine! Americans can’t get enough of our four-legged friends and neither can they go anywhere without them.
What better place to bring our furry friends than to a café that’s going to make sure they are welcome – or even one where dogs are the main attraction? New York has some of the best dog-friendly cafes for people who want to take their pooch for a latte, and a few (like the increasingly popular cat-cafes) where anyone can come in for caffeine and cuddles. New York coffee shops strive for doggy satisfaction. Here are 10 of the best dog cafes in NYC!
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10 Boris & Horton Café
Having first opened in mid-January of 2018, this pooch café holds the top spot of the best dog café in NYC. Boris & Horton Cafe is co-owned by business partners Copy Holzman and Logan Mikhly who are not only coffee enthusiasts but also have a passion for dogs. The coffee shop was named in honor of their dogs, Boris and Horton. Owner Holzman and his partner Mikhly strived to create a space that “blended well with the city and also established a sense of inclusiveness.” Here, owners can bring their pups in for a cup of Joe, and the cafe also hosts adoption events. Additionally, the café was built to compliment the dogs, given it features a doggy gift shop, an Instagram booth for puppies and hosts several dog adoption events. This place might as well change its name to Doggy Heaven!
9 The Bean
Currently located in the lovely Eastern Village of Manhattan, this dog-friendly shop loves their pooches just as much as Boris & Horton Cafe. Though not as exclusive as the previous coffee shop, The Bean does welcome canines inside, as long as they’re well-trained.
Owners not only enjoy a cup of Joe and a donut or two, but now so can their pets. The Bean’s staff also passes out doggy treats!
8 Sweetleaf Coffee
Another great coffee shop is the Long Island City Sweetleaf Coffee shop. This place has four-stars from reviewers for a reason. For one, Sweetleaf Coffee is not an ordinary café, as it relies heavily on science to brew the perfect blend of coffee. For all the techy-people out there, the shop uses “refractometers to measure the coffee’s Total Dissolved Solids and computer software to compile roast metrics”—which is just a fancy way for saying their coffee is amazing. Not only will techs love the coffee, but their dogs will love their delicious doggy treats! On Sweetleaf’s Instagram page are pictures of dogs striking a pose at the cafe, obviously fans of the coffee shop themselves.
7 The Roasting Plant
Customers will also become fast fans of The Roasting Plant. Located on the lower east side, this café sells just about every coffee bean any customer could hope for. The Roasting Plant is known for its large variety, as they have a coffee master that travels the world in search of the best coffee beans. They sell beans from Indonesia, parts of Africa, and even the Caribbean, having a total of 11 varieties to choose from.
This cafe caters to coffee drinkers who are culturally inclined and enjoy trying new things. Not only is The Roasting Plant an innovative café with a slew of options to choose from, but they also cater to dog owners. Just outside the cafe are benches and hitches for dog leashes, allowing our pets to socialize. Whoever said dogs weren’t people must’ve never heard of this coffee shop!
No other coffee shop loves the company of dogs more than Devocion. Located in the Bronx, the Devocion café sits smack-dab in the hustle and bustle of the city. Since dogs like being outside anyway, leaving them behind on the outdoor seating to watch all the commotion and take in all the smells New York has to offer suits them just fine. Trust and believe, our furry friends will thank us for introducing them to this café. Not only does this shop cater to dogs, but they also pride themselves on customer satisfaction through the use of their hand-picked coffee beans. Their beans come straight from the farms of Colombia and into our cups within a matter of days. In exchange for ultra-fresh coffee, Devocion does charity work in Colombia, helping to rebuild their society. A coffee shop that’s on a mission to save a country and loves dogs is definitely worth visiting.
5 The Barking Dog
The Barking Dog deserves to hold a top spot on every dog owner’s bucket list for sure. This café is a cross between an all-day restaurant and coffee shop, as well as an indoor doggy park, all combined into one. In fact, The Barking Dog’s entire theme and atmosphere revolves around dogs. This place is so canine-oriented that there’s even a doggy water fountain!
The staff also passes out doggy treats. The Barking Dog takes the phrase “dog-friendly” to an entirely new level. Owners who’ve been looking for great coffee and a place for their dogs can call off the search, starting now! The Barking Dog has everything they’ve ever dreamed of for a dog café.
4 Café Grumpy
Café Grumpy certainly agrees with the merge of beverage and dog. Despite its name, this New York café is anything but grumpy. The shop does serve some of the meanest lattes ever, though, according to customer reviews. Perhaps it’s all thanks to the owners of the coffee shop; wife and husband, Caroline Bell and Chris Timbrell, for crafting a coffee shop that’s focused on helping customers choose the perfect coffee brew. This feature alone doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the shop is dog-friendly. They have a small outdoor area for dogs and water bowls lying around in case they want to drink while socializing. The shop also employs canines for part-time modeling jobs. Does Café Grumpy have it all or what?
3 Gasoline Alley Coffee
Another Manhattan cafe, the Gasoline Alley Coffee Shop is one of the best in town. Similar to Boris & Horton Café, it is co-owned by business partners, Nick Carnevale and Neville Ross, who had a passion for coffee and decided to go into business together. Not only do they offer great coffee and “unapologetically great customer service”—as they’re website boasts—but they have an excellent outdoor bench for both humans and dogs.
Despite the neighborhood being nicknamed the Gasoline Alley for a reason, owners feel comfortable enough leaving their dogs outside alone to enjoy the seating while they get a fresh cup of coffee. Just check out the Gasoline Alley’s Instagram page and look for the dog chilling outside with his owner, enjoying the nice New York weather. It can’t get any better than that!
2 Chateau Le Woof
Nothing out beats a café that is dedicated to our pets, especially when it offers everything from doggy treats to private training classes. The Chateau Le Woof, located in Astoria, is the café with all the perks a pet owner could ever hope for. It’s New York’s first ever human and pet market that prides itself on providing the healthiest products on the market for animals. Their menu even includes products such as Natural Balance’s Rabbit and Potato Dry-food formula that Natassa Contini, the owner of the café, says “helps dogs with allergy problems.” The café also has a doggy playpen open from seven to eight every night. Check out Chateau Le Woof’s web page to see why dog owners love this cafe!
1 South 4th Bar & Café
With so many dog-friendly cafes to choose from, it’s no wonder no one can make up their mind about which to choose. The versatile coffee shop, South 4th Bar & Café, also located in the Bronx, has much to offer new and regular customers. They’ve got great customer service, terrific coffee, and host a Kings of Karaoke night that’s a must-see. Not to mention they love dogs and welcome canines inside their establishment. A café, a bar and a new hangout place for our dogs makes for a perfect place for any pet owner. Not only can the owners have fun but so can their pets!
WEST VALLEY CITY — There are many places in Utah with good Chinese food. However, you won’t catch Kathy Tomlinson anywhere other than Kowloon Cafe in West Valley.
“This is the best Chinese food I’ve ever had in my life,” she said while waiting in line to get in. “Their egg drop soup is just the best ever.”
She wasn’t the only person waiting in line. About 50 people were wrapped around the building at 2055 3500 South before the restaurant even opened. It was proof people loved it.
“It’s freaking delicious,” said Ed Plummer with a laugh.
But the long line was also because after today, there will never be another line again.
After more than 60 years, Kowloon Cafe is closing.
“I’m very sad. I’ve come here since I was just little,” said Tomlinson, who said she will soon turn 72 years old.
Customers lined up outside of Kowloon Cafe on Saturday, May 11, 2019, for one last meal at the restaurant before it closed for good. (Photo: KSL TV)
The owner of Kowloon Cafe, Raymond Wang, decided last month he was going to close for good. Spending time with his grandkids is more appealing than making food from scratch every morning, he said.
“I do need time for myself and to do whatever I want,” said Wang as he folded cream cheese wontons to prepare for the day. “I don’t want to reach a day where I look back and I worked all my life. That’s not good. That’s not what life should be.”
Wang knew people would be sad when he announced his decision, however, his loyal customers understood, he said.
But he never expected lines out the door.
“That shows how much people really wanted us to stay,” Wang said. “We have a lot of customers that are loyal. For 40 years and 50 years. They keep coming.”
Raymond Wang, owner of Kowloon Cafe, talks to KSL TV on Saturday, May 11, 2019, about his decision to close the West Valley City restaurant after 60 years in business. (Photo: KSL TV)
And when the door opened for the last time, customers sat down, ordered their favorites, and told stories of what they’re going to remember most about the place.
“It’s the atmosphere and the people,” said Plummer. “They did a great job here.”
For once, the memories and stories mattered more than the food. And the conversations wishing Wang good luck were more inspirational than anything a fortune cookie could ever say.
I don’t want to reach a day where I look back and I worked all my life. That’s not good. That’s not what life should be.
Wang said he’ll miss it, but he’s also looking forward to something his business could never provide.
“You cannot buy time. Money is not that important,” he said. “Now, at least I have time. I can do nothing. Or I can do anything I want.”
60 years later and he’s just beginning.
The Bay Area’s Blue Bottle Coffee has issued a voluntary recall of their Coffee Can after reports that opening the container have led to injury. The company is offering a full refund on any unopened Coffee Cans from the approximately 194,000 in circulation.
A 2019 Design Lab winner for packaging at this year’s Specialty Coffee Expo, the six-ounce Blue Bottle Coffee Can was the company’s attempt at finding a “balance between a compostable or recyclable product and one that extends freshness,” as Forbes described it in their feature on the then-announced receptacle. Per the article, the Coffee Cans were able to increase a “[coffee’s] lifespan up to 4 months – far greater than the two-week lifespan of roasted coffee in a bag.”
Per the voluntary recall issued on May 9th, “the lid may detach rapidly with force when opened, causing the beans to eject from the can,” which “poses an injury hazard.” As of issuing the recall, Blue Bottle had been made known of 13 instances of the rapidly detaching lid, with one that led to injury, a cut to the finger. As a recipient of half a dozen stitches to the finger due to an untimely run-in with a metal lid from a canister of tennis balls, let me just say that those lids are no joke.
The company is now recalling “all varieties of Hayes Valley Espresso, Bella Donovan, Giant Steps, Three Africas, and Night Light Decaf 170g/6oz whole bean Coffee Cans with all best-by dates” and telling consumers to discontinue opening any further cans. Coffee Cans that have already been opened pose “no safety risk to consuming the coffee.”
Unopened cans that were purchased via “Amazon.com, GoodEggs.com, Whole Foods Markets, Target, and other grocery retailers nationwide” are to be returned to their place of purchase for a full refund. As of press time, the Coffee Can has been removed for sale from Blue Bottle’s website.
For more information on the recall, visit Blue Bottle Coffee’s official website.
Top image via Blue Bottle Coffee
Disclosure: Blue Bottle Coffee is an advertising partner with the Sprudge Media Network
Sneakers and coffee are a match made in heaven (so long as you’re careful about the spills). And the two worlds have never been closer together: from sneaker-themed cafes (like Portland’s Deadstock Coffee), to sneaker brands opening incredible coffee bars (like Atmos in Tokyo or Sneaker Laundry in Glasgow), to the collision of sneaker fashion and coffee culture at massive events like SCA Expo, Tokyo Coffee Festival, and ComplexCon (and the list goes on).
But this is nothing new for sneaker brands. From Nike to Adidas to Diadora and New Balance, brands have long looked to coffee’s colorways and culture for design inspiration, and coffee search terms yield hundreds of results on sneaker resale sites like Stadium Goods, Grailed, and GOAT. For the purposes of this article we hunted out a half-dozen or so favorites from StockX, the sneaker resale sensation where shoes are tracked and traded around the world like market stocks. Whatever your taste is in footwear and coffee, there’s something here for you. (Just don’t buy out my size, okay?)
Jordan 3 Retro Mocha (2018) — via StockX
Arguably the coolest “coffee shoe” of 2018, the Jordan 3 Retro Mocha dropped in December of last year to rave reviews (and much Instagramming). Modeled off Nike’s 2001 Jordan brand release, this shoe features a lustrous coffee-inspired mocha leather colorway on the heel, toe, sole, and logo, offset by white and chrome evoking a dollop of whipped cream on top. I really dig this shoe’s Jumpman logo—he’s jumping for a mocha!
Diadora S800 “Espresso Ristretto” — via StockX
It’s no surprise that Italian sneaker brand Diadora (based in Treviso, just north of Venice) would draw on Italy’s proud history of coffee obsession and innovation. Originally released in AW 2105, this is another “retro”, inspired by the company’s early 90s S800 line of runners. This shoe was entirely made in Italy at Diadora’s Caerano San Marco factory, with quality and detail that speaks to generations of Italian craftsmanship. And while the colorway isn’t swathed in brown, it does evoke pleasant espresso tasting notes: think clean and structured, with tonal herbal hints.
Diadora V7000 x Footpatrol “Macchiato” — via StockX
Another one from Diadora, this time by way of London’s famed Footpatrol sneaker boutique (now with a second location in Paris). Like a La Marzocco on the bar of a busy Soho coffee shop, the pairing works. Released on Black Friday 2016, This one features draws again from retro Diadora, fusing a luscious coffee-and-milk beige suede with a tongue sporting the traditional Italian tricolore and Foot Patrol’s logo subtly embossed on the side heel. Extremely limited in production, this shoe actually dropped as part of a capsule with a shirt (just okay) and track pants (extremely good), seen here via Sneaker News.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Coffee Lovers” — via StockX
Nike’s skateboarding division put these stunners out back in 2016 replete with trademark chunky laces, a Pacific Northwest forest green upper, and a dream swirl of khaki and brown tones on the toe meant to evoke a nice cuppa. These shoes are s h o c k i n g l y slept on by coffee shoe heads, and make perhaps the strongest value buy on this list (they’re going for around half of their 2016 retail price right now on StockX).
Adidas Tubular Invader “Flat White” — via StockX
The Flat White does not exist—but the Adidas Tubular Invader “Flat White” most assuredly does. These strappy jams evoke some of the more far-out techno fashion coming out of the House of Three Stripes, without veering into full-on Yeezy territory. They also aren’t priced like Yeezys, which is nice—StockX has ’em for around $60. But maybe consider swapping out the laces?
Saucony “Avocado Toast” — via StockX
If the question is “cop or drop,” these are going to have to be a firm “drop” from me, but no coffee sneaker list is complete without including Saucony’s 2018 “Avocado Toast” release. We dutifully mocked-slash-requested freebies from Saucony late last year, but never heard anything back, which is a shame. Because everyone knows it’s not really cafe breakfast keeping the millennials from home ownership—it’s all these damn sneakers!
Editor’s note: Jordan Michelman’s opinion on footwear does not reflect the opinion of Sprudge Media Network or its editorial staff.
Disclosure: StockX is not currently part of the Sprudge Media Network advertising program, and Sprudge was in no way compensated for this links-laden post that in retrospect kind of looks like advertorial. However, should someone from StockX read this article and be inspired to reach out with a coupon code, please get in touch.