STAMFORD, Conn. -- Julie and Yori Gabay never had the vision of opening a café at Pacific Cycling & Triathlon shop per say but when they moved locations -- from Stamford's Harbor Point to High Ridge Road less than a year ago, the thought started to -- pardon the pun -- percolate.
Their cozy three-month-old Pacific Café, where bikes line the side and back wall, has, in a very short time, become a magnet for customers -- and not just bikers.
"Everyone seems to like it," said Julie. The cafe has a low-key vibe with free Wi-Fi, and the couples' dogs wandering about. In the short time it's been open, it's also attracted folks who are drawn to its Bullet Proof Coffee, which thanks to its infusion of MCT oil, grass-fed butter and coffee, is known for its smooth taste and health benefits.
"There's a whole science to it, " said Julie, "Plus, it tastes really good." She says they are the only ones locally that carry it.
For those who just want the "regular" stuff, the beans come from Stamford's BonJo Coffee Roasters. There's also a carefully curated list of food options that Julie handpicks herself, keeping in mind what's local. "If I don't like it, I don't sell it," she said. Expect breads from Norwalk's Wave Hill -- their monkey bread is to die for she said -- and breads and pastries from NYC's Balthazar Bakery and CeCi Bakeries. There are also quiches, croissants, scones and tarts and 35 different teas.
Julie said the idea to open the cafe came about because biking is a seasonal sport and adding a gathering spot where folks could relax and get good quality coffee was a way to bring in more people. Plus, bikers like coffee, she said.
The store, of course, is another draw. Aside from having a large variety of road and triathlon bikes -- mountain bikes, hybrids and kid's bikes -- it also does repairs, expert bike fitting, and custom work. And, it stocks a wide range of triathlon gear (the Gabay's are both triathletes) including wetsuits, goggles, and all the accessories you could ever need to swim, bike or run. They are also very involved in the community and run workshops, events and sponsor charity races throughout the year.
As for how the husband and wife duo manage working together, Julie said they complement each other with their different strengths. (Yori also doesn't work there full-time)
For now, she's the one behind the counter making the coffee but would love to find a full-time barista.
Pacific Café is located inside Pacific Cycling & Triathlon at 984 High Ridge Rd. (203) 504-8960, www.pacificsbr.com.
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