SOUTHINGTON — Just six months after opening a downtown shop, Southington Coffee House is working on a West Street express location in a Sunoco Gas Station.
Denis and Sandra Guay opened Southington Coffee House in the former Caffe Del Mondo storefront in August. The shop at 51 N. Main St. sells coffee, pastries, crepes and sandwiches.
“What can I say, Southington wants more,” Denis Guay said. “People have been asking us for a West Street location and a quicker experience.”
The Sunoco location will have most of the downtown menu, except for crepes and nitro brew. The portion of the gas station that will host the coffee house is under construction. Denis Guay said it will look similar to the North Main Street shop.
“When you walk into there, it looks just like our cafe,” he said. “It’s like a replication of the coffee house.”
On West Street right off Interstate 84, Denis Guay said customers will have a convenient location to grab a cup of coffee or food. The store will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“This affords itself to a quicker, on the way to work grab-and-go situation,” Denis Guay said.West Street
A customer suggested the partnership with the West Street Sunoco in September. The Guays declined at first, but soon after decided it would be a good move.
The customer, Prasad Maganti, owns the Sunoco and Mobil gas stations off the highway on West Street.
Signs, counters, refrigerators and cases were already installed at the store on Wednesday. Harsh Sharna, manager of both gas stations, said the locations have become busier over the past year with the addition of restaurants, a hotel, medical offices and stores nearby. Since the station is right off the highway, he also sees a lot of truck drivers.
“They come in and get a coffee, a sandwich,” Sharna said.
The station will stop selling Green Mountain Coffee and some prepackaged pastries once Southington Coffee House opens.‘Busier every day’
Denis Guay is working to start curbside pickup at the North Main Street location, a plan that requires town approval for the use of dedicated parking spaces.
Customers can already order online to have their order ready when they arrive. Denis Guay plans for people to be able to pull into designated parking spaces in the nearby Riccio Way lot and have their order run out to them.
The North Main Street shop also has extra seating space in the storefront next door, a temporary measure that started around Christmas. Store manager Lilly Fellows said they’ve expanded the menu to include more vegan and gluten-free options.
“It gets busier and busier by the day,” she said.
With so many businesses starting up on West Street, Fellows expected the Southington Coffee House Express to do well.
“There’s a big demand for a gourmet product in that area,” she said.
The coffee house won’t be hiring any new employees for the West Street location. That will mean “substantially” more hours and promotions for employees, Denis Guay said.
“The store’s excited, the employees are excited,” he said. “We have a lot of moms who work there. They’re now able to get 30 hours and make a decent take-home check.”