“Come for Coffee, Stay For More!” is what it says on the top of the menu at Cuppa Coffee & More!, a delightful coffee shop located at 442 Main Street in downtown Placerville.
Jill Barnes is the sole owner of this business and she has been doing well with it for the past two years. Recently she has added a catering business (ask for a menu).
“We bake and cook everything on site,” she proudly told me. “My chef, Melissa Arcona, is wonderful, and not only can she come up with great things for our customers or a fantastic meal for a wedding or other event for up to 200 people, she is a master at paring food and wine. In fact, she has a wine dinner coming up.”
While I was looking at all of the delicious goodies in the display cases, Barnes offered me a peanut butter and M&Ms cookie. “You will like this,” she said, “and it is gluten free,” adding, “ we have a lot of gluten free items, including cookies, cupcakes and frittatas and we get high marks for them from customers.” It was good, and especially with a cup of freshly brewed Vanellis coffee, which they also sell as beans to take home.
To go with your cup of coffee or coffee drink you can also get scones, muffins (she rotates between bran, carrot cake, raspberry orange, blueberry and an “All American” which contains bananas, chocolate espresso and bacon), other kinds of cookies and biscotti.
For a light meal you can try their deep dish ham and cheese or Florentine quiche (the best sellers), fajita seasoned chicken, black bean and refried bean tortilla wraps, shepherd’s pie, a special teriyaki chicken rice bowl, salads, fruit cups and something I have to try, a 49er Dog, which is a Polish sausage wrapped in a light pretzel crust. They only have soup during the cold months, but all year you can get their famous chili and cornbread.
“When our Cornish pasty supplier started selling through a bakery, Melissa took it on herself to make our own pasties,” said Barnes. “She makes them in four varieties, which sell out rapidly: beef and potato, chicken and potato, pork verde and veggie.
For a sweet treat they have brownies, lemon bars and much more, again, all made there.
To spice up your meal or to take home they also have two kinds of pepper sauce that they make: Habanero Hot and Sweet Mild. I tried them both. The Habanero is hot, but it has a good flavor and the Sweet Mild is just warm enough and delicious.
To go with your light meal they also serve local beer and wine and can ship wine for you.
“Since this location was a bakery for a while, people still come in looking for a bakery,” continued Barnes. “I tell them we do have baked goods, but we are really a coffee shop with wonderful food and light meals. And, because we are a coffee shop, we need to be open seven days a week so the locals know we are open and can come here to hang out.
“Our business depends upon our local customers and many of them are in here several times a week. But we also get a lot of tourists. We sometimes think we are a small tourist visitors center.
“Some people think that it is Lake Tahoe that brings tourists to Placerville, but if you talk with the tourists themselves you find out it is not Lake Tahoe, but the gold and our history.
“We talk to a lot of tourists and I try to get them to write something in my memory book. One person wrote a whole page in Russian that I cannot read. But they did put smiley faces at the bottom, so I am sure it is good.”
Cuppa Coffee & More! is open from 7 until 5, Monday through Friday, 8 until 5 on Saturday and from 10 until 4 on Sunday. Monday through Saturday they serve $1 coffee until 9 a.m.
For more information, stop by or call (530) 626-9600 or visit cuppacoffeandmore.com.