Snacks N'At: Staghorn Garden Cafe, Greenfield
Coffee and plants. Not necessarily things that seem to go together. But a local couple hopes to make it a winning combination.
Kate and Mark Morris own Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe in Greenfield, which opened Dec. 17. The thinking behind serving coffee and selling plants combines their love of a hot drink and the feel and smell of the outdoors.
They serve Zeke's Coffee from East Liberty, which stood out during a sampling of many brews.
“Once we tasted Zeke's French Roast, we stopped tasting any others because it was the best cup of coffee we ever had,” Mark Morris says. “There was no reason to look any more.”
Kate Morris complements the space by finding interesting plants — the staghorn fern is her favorite. She also creates terrariums, which are for sale. They offer many locally made items from tote bags and T-shirts to organic beauty products to housewares and honey.
Mark Morris, a South Park native, recently left his full-time job as a construction estimator to join his wife at the cafe. The two met while at graduate school at Miami (Ohio). They chose Greenfield for their shop, because it's where they live and are raising their son, Samuel James, 19 months.
They've been well-received in the community.
“Kate and Mark are creating a special place,” says Brookline resident Carrie Nardini, director of I Made It! Market. “It offers a warm and inviting cafe ... so you can swoop in for coffee every morning and stop back later in the day to grab a tea and relax with a friend.”
“As a salon owner on Greenfield Avenue for 13 years myself,” says Louie Sciulli, owner of Salon Louie a few doors away, “it is very exciting to see another unique and creative new store open up. The owners are an energetic, friendly, community-minded young couple.”
The goal is to provide local products and to support local businesses, Kate Morris says. She says they hope when people come in the store they will discover local treasures.
“I have always had a passion for plants,” Kate Morris says. “I love gardening, and I think there are so many people who also love gardening that we can get together and talk about plants. We have all of our favorite things in this store, and we hope they become other people's favorites, too.”
While sipping coffee and perusing the goods, patrons can have gourmet ice-cream sandwich from Leona's, based in Wilkinsburg. While they change, ice-cream sandwich flavors have included cranberry sugar cookie, cinnamon oatmeal and peppermint bark — for $5.50. Pastries such as items from Enricos Biscotti out of the Strip District are $2 to $3. Coffee is $1.75 for a small and $2.25 for a large. Most plants and gift items sell for $3 to $55.
The Morrises plan to add items as well as host evenings with area musicians and authors. They also hope to have community gatherings, such as having an expert from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to discuss plants, or do-it-yourself events, and to have artists submit works to be viewed and sold.
There are comfortable chairs set up around the store for folks to enjoy the atmosphere while working or just chatting.
“We want people to enjoy the space,” Mark Morris says. “We believe it's an extension of our home — we have lots of interesting furniture — many pieces that are mismatched, but that is part of making it a unique atmosphere. We are open to what the community wants, because we are here for them. We want them to feel comfortable when they walk in the door. We are bound and determined to get it right. This is such a great neighborhood. We love that we live and work in the same neighborhood, because it's a way to get to know everyone.”
Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe, 517 Greenfield Ave., Greenfield, is open from 6 to 10 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412-315-7298 or staghorngardencafe.com
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.