Starting in the early 1970's through 1990, the space that Koffee? currently occupies was a bar by the name of The Foundry Cafe. The old New Haveners remember it as THE live Jazz spot to come for a couple beers and enjoy good Jazz.
That all ended in late 1990 when The Foundry Cafe was raided by the FBI for being a major Cocaine distribution point. Needless to say, there were many arrests and the place was shut down for good.
Koffee? as a young sprout
Two years later, in 1992, a quirky 32 year old dancer, Candace Balasi took over the space and started up Koffee? - New Haven's third coffeehouse (after Willoughbys and the now defunct Daily Cafe). It was an odd little space with good coffee and an alternative reputation.
After four years in the coffee business, Candice had to return home to Louisiana to be with her family, so she turned around and sold Koffee? to a lovely couple - Lee and Tracy Jackson. Tracy was the major force behind Koffee? at that time - in every morning at the crack of dawn baking muffins, then behind the counter greeting customers when the shop opened. With her loving guidance, Koffee? blossomed into the open and friendly coffeehouse that welcomed and embraced all.
In 2000, Yale approached Lee and Tracy, and offered them the space at 276 York Street (that was formally occupied by Willoughbys, and now occupied by Blue State Coffee) . They quickly snapped up the space and built out a new coffeehouse - Koffee Too? After about a year of managing two shops, they realized that having multiple locations was stretching them beyond what they could reasonably handle.
So, In 2002, Duncan Goodall (a Yale Alum, who used to study at Koffee? when he was a student) came along and bought Koffee? from Lee and Tracy, so they could focus their time and attention on KoffeeToo?
Koffee? as a young adult
As most young adults do in their early 20's, Koffee? began serving wine and craft beer in 2012 under the Koffee AFterdark Marquee - the transition Koffee? makes starting at 5pm every day.
Now, in 2014, Koffee? is transitioning into a new era of coffeehouse. This year was marked by a gradual transition away from pre-packaged foods, highly-processed foods to food we prepare from basic ingredients in our own kitchen. We no longer use pre-mix blender syrups, rather we use *real* mango and *real* cookie dough in our blended drinks. Likewise, we offer more cut vegetables and hummus, fresh baguette sandwiches and other delicious, fresh, healthy *whole* foods.
Over the next year (2014-2015) we are gradually phasing out nuts. We are planning to have a nut-free kitchen / establishment by the beginning of 2015. Likewise we are increasing our gluten free offerings, with four new gluten free muffins (white chocolate - strawberry, parmasian - broccoli, chocolate-chocolate, healthy harvest), a gluten free protein bar and a gluten free granola bar.
The next phase of menu development will include more gluten-free lunch options, more vegetarian options and more vegan options.