Coffee:30 Not your average coffee shop
Published 6:52 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Coffee:30 just marked its one-year anniversary a week ago. Serving a great cup of coffee sourced from a Lafayette roaster is just the creamy tip of the latte foam.
“This is not your average coffee shop,” said Joshua Smith, one of the owners along with his wife Taylor and Shadi Abrusely. Omai Abrusely, Shadi’s sister, heads up the kitchen team.
In fact, “not your average coffee shop” is the tagline for this coffee, pastry, breakfast, brunch and lunch establishment located at 127 W. College St. in Lake Charles near the intersection of Ryan St. and visible from Interstate 210. It fits.
One of Coffee:30’s “hot” selling items is the beignet, out of the fryer daily, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with extra flavoring on request. The owners developed the recipe in their own kitchens.
“Our goal is to put Lake Charles on the map for beignets,” said Smith, a Cafe Du Monde coffee and beignet fan.
Smith admits it’s a lofty goal, but the numbers are looking pretty sweet.
“A lot of people don’t realize it, but Lake Charles is #2 in the state for tourism after New Orleans, according to Visit Lake Charles metrics,” Smith said. “We’re getting out-of-towners here. They’re loving the fritters, and so do the locals. It’s just a matter of time.”
Coffee:30 also serves satisfying sit-down eggs, bacon and grits goodness, pancakes with maple syrup, breakfast bowls, avocado toast, four varieties of breakfast sandwiches, lunch starters, four varieties of lunch sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers and soups.
“The High Noon Wagyu Burger features two JVS Cattle Wagyu beef patties – and that’s a local beef producer – Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomato served on a toasted pretzel bun,” said Shadi Abrusely. “People come in and see the menu and say, ‘I had no idea you sold burgers and lunch items.’”
“We’re really two cafes in one,” Smith said.
Smith and his wife came up with “Chicken Lake Charles” after doing a lot of research and development in New Orleans.
“Well, at least that’s what we called it,” Smith said. “We visited the Ruby Slipper and they had a dish called Chicken St. Charles. We created our own rendition because it was great tasting and because we wanted to have something on the menu named after Lake Charles. It’s breaded chicken served over a buttermilk biscuit topped with an egg, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon covered with Cajun hollandaise and garnished with chives served with a side of country potatoes.”
The 1997 Chicken Salad Sandwich plays homage to the chicken salad popularized when Greg and Ken owned the place, according to Smith.
The Abrusely family arrived on the Lake Charles food scene years ago and have never left. Shadi Abrusely’s food sourcing helps set Coffee:30 separately.
“Maybe we’re not french culinary school trained, but my sister and I have been cooking up a storm ever since high school home ec and we’ve never stopped. We grew up in a family that cooked. The goal is simple. Make memorable food. Memorable food will bring customers back for more.”
The Smiths, Sam Houston High School sweethearts always wanted to have their own coffee shop and started putting together a business plan in 2019 using resources from the SEED Center. COVID and the weather disasters delayed the opening.
“My wife turned 30 on May 27, 2019,” Smith said. “We were riding around trying to think of a name to go along with our concept and she said, ‘You know people say beer:30. What about Coffee:30 as in anytime is a good time for coffee? The signage features a clock and the time is 5:27, Taylor Smith’s birthday. Menu items also use the “time” concept.
“You know, timing is everything,” Smith said.