Comfy furniture, warm energy and bold, bright colors stand out inside Manlius' newest coffeehouse, Thanks a Latte. Owner Jennifer Cohen opened its doors just over a month ago on Dec. 4. She said she wanted a fun place where people could come and laugh with their friends.
"That was the goal all along," Cohen said. "We wanted a place where you could go in the dead of winter on a grey and miserable day and feel like you've had a lift -- a little tropical vacation."
Cohen, who was raised in DeWitt and now lives in Manlius with her husband Phil and their four children, had been thinking of opening shop for a few years. She led a small dessert catering business for a while called "Stirring up Trouble" but said this is her first retail venture.
"I was exhausted from being in and out of other people's spaces," she said. "So this, we said, either time to get our own space or let it go." They got down to business.
The coffee menu reaches far and wide -- from their house blend to "fancy, funky lattes [and] espresso-type drinks," she said, adding that herbal, black, green and chocolate teas are also be among the list of thirst quenchers.
A display of delicious desserts features gourmet cakes, cookies, muffins, scones and croissant blossoms -- a palette pleaser that's filled with rich cr me brulee cheesecake.
There are also some high-end quality products available for the health conscious at the store. Right now, she offers brands such as Carzona's wheat snacks and Oogies gourmet popcorn. Energy drinks and supplements are on their way.
"People have mentioned that they've wanted some healthier options," she said.
Why Manlius Mart?
"We started looking at this place when my son was taking karate and there was a bunch of moms just kind of sitting there," Cohen said. "We all had small children and we all said, "oh, if we could just get a cup of coffee."