Cazenovia One day Barb Wright and Kay Crawford were driving around, as they tend to do for leisure.
On this particular day, they happened to be driving through Utica and they noticed an old shop sign.
The sign was for a café, one that was no longer in business. They loved the name and agreed that if they ever opened a sandwich shop or café together they would use this moment for inspiration.
Last summer, on another leisure drive through Madison County, they noticed that a storefront on Linklaen Street was up for sale. It was Angel’s Deli. Admirers of the village’s architecture and all-around charm, they decided to check it out.
“We had lunch here and, by the end of our lunch, Kay was in the kitchen and it was almost karma,” explained Wright. “It just looked like the kind of place Kay should be running.”
On Dec. 14, 2012, Wright and Crawford opened Latté Da! Café & Bakehouse in the village of Cazenovia. “And here we are, totally by accident,” Wright said.
Crawford has many years of experience in restaurants and hospitality, including 17-plus years where she was the general manager for both Brooklyn Pickle locations.
“The business world gets crazy,” Wright said. But according to Crawford, this is, without a doubt, Wright’s forte.
Wright admits she has absolutely no background in running a restaurant, but it just so happens that she’s “the best baker Crawford’s ever met.”
No matter who’s the best at what, the café has been running smoothly because they recognize each other’s strengths. Wright is on the clock elsewhere, so she doesn’t arrive to the café until about 6 p.m.
Crawford is there for the majority of the day, including the lunch rush, and is not only cooking up a storm, she’s getting to know the customers — many of whom have already become regulars.