Paloma Coffee and Bakery (772 Manhattan Ave.) has relocated around the corner, opening a new flagship location on the bustling corner of Manhattan and Meserole last Friday, March 4. The coffeeshop currently bears a sign welcoming neighbors to a soft opening. But that’s only because Paloma’s owner is not finished decorating the space.
Owner Reuben Villagomez has a vision for the coffeeshop and bakery, affectionately named after his young daughter, Paloma. Design-wise, bar stools will line the counter, matching the marble and brass aesthetic. The colorful picnic-like folding chairs and tables that now seat customers inside will be moved to an outdoor seating area.
Villagomez also has an expanded menu in the works. “Expect sandwiches soon,” said the excited owner. Villagomez hopes to partner with local cheesemonger, Monger’s Palate (192 Driggs Ave.) to supply cheese to complement cured meats for “Parisian-style sandwiches”, according to Villagomez. He will also sell vegetarian and vegan sandwiches.
Paloma already offers a variety of baked goods, all made in-house. A display case is filled with muffins, cookies, and breads. Don’t miss the homemade olive oil bread that will melt in your mouth.
Villagomez also hopes to create an in-house chocolate program, which would be a perfect nod to the chocolate and candy store that used to call the location home. The coffeeshop has left a scale used to weigh chocolate on display. Plus, the chef at Paloma, Alexander Zecena, comes from a pastry and chocolate background.
It all fits perfectly in Villagomez’s mind, however, “the chocolate program will most likely take one to two years,” he says. “Chocolate and coffee fit well together. We could sell chocolate-covered espresso beans, both from single origin,” said Villagomez.
Villagomez’s passion and knowledge are apparent. He started his coffee career in high school, bagging beans, but then took a detour to teach math for two years. Eventually, fate took over and called him back to the coffee business, first in consulting, and finally to open his own shop, Paloma.
Paloma is open Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. The shop also offers local delivery via the website.