Feb 07, 2013 Farah Jadran Uncategorized
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.
The couple has joked that they’ve become a bakehouse with a café and not so much a café with a bakehouse because of the demand for Wright’s desserts.
“I’m a home baker and certainly have done it for years,” Wright said. “I’ve always been known to make a great pie.”
She makes at least two pies every night she drives into Cazenovia. “Every time I come back, they’re gone. Maybe there’s a piece or two,” she said.
And since Crawford is tracking inventory as the day goes on, she chimes in to say they once went through an entire carrot cake in one day. Wright’s Almond Cherry Scone also moves out the door almost as quickly as it comes out of the oven.
Another crowd favorite has been “the ‘chocolatiest,’ darkest homemade cupcake ever with our most decadent chocolate frosting,” according to Wright. The cupcake — “Amy’s Addiction” — is named after long-time friend Amy Manley, who, if you couldn’t guess, loves chocolate. Amy helped the café duo do some organizing and designed their business logo. “She has free scones for life,” Crawford said.
“People are in and out of here constantly looking for a dessert,” Crawford said. “Mostly we just enjoy watching people enjoy what we’re making.”
And you may be pleased to hear that everything they make is made there, it’s “not out of a box,” Wright said.
Latté Da! is located at 3 Linklaen St., Cazenovia. Café hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @LatteDaCaz to receive updates on daily specials. Call 655-5835 or stop in to ask about their catering menu.
This story was originally published in the February 2013 edition of Syracuse Woman Magazine, a publication of Eagle Newspapers. For more information on SWM or to subscribe, visit syracusewomanmag.com/swm or facebook.com?SyracuseWomanMagazine. Also, find SWM on Twitter: @SyrWomanMag