New Upscale Coffee Shop Planned for East Haven Shopping Plaza

A new independent coffee cafe — with outdoor seating, iPad stations and wireless internet — has been proposed for the Trolley Square Plaza.

A shoreline businessman is hoping to open a new, upscale independent coffee shop in the Trolley Square Plaza in East Haven.

Richard Cordeiro, a Guilford resident, has submitted plans to the town's zoning office for the proposed new cafe, which he is hoping to move into the vacant 1,635-square-foot office space next door to the U.S. Post Office in the busy shopping center.

A rough sketch of the current floor plans is posted in the gallery.

"We basically want to have a place for people to come in, enjoy their coffee and spend some time," Cordeiro told East Haven Patch.

'Nothing Else Like This in East Haven'

Cordeiro, a native of Branford, said the shop would not only feature quality coffee drinks, but also a self-serve area for frozen yogurt.

The plans for the cafe include an area for outdoor seating, and state-of-the-art wireless internet access.

"And we'll also have iPads mounted into some of the counter tops," Cordeiro said, adding that the cafe would lean toward a focus on technology.

There would also most likely be some sort of discount for senior citizens who would chose to frequent the shop.

"There are no competitors really doing what we're looking to do," he said.

"I think it will end up being a very popular spot," he said. "There is nothing else like this in East Haven."

Leasing Talks: Stop & Shop Is Key

But first they have to secure the space.

Currently, Cordeiro and his business partner are in negotiations with Rhys Commercial Real Estate, the company that manages the plaza, for the rental agreement.

The shopping center itself is owned by Cb Commercial Prime Properties LLC, according to the latest listing on Manta.com.

Frank Biancur Jr, the town's new zoning officer, told East Haven Patch that while the proposed project would still be required to obtain the necessary approvals from the town, he feels the cafe would be a positive new business for East Haven.

And so, Cordeiro said the decision of whether or not plans for the cafe can move forward hinges on the current leasing negotiations — and whether or not also agrees to allow the coffee shop to open its doors as it's now planned.

Stop & Shop Approval

Cordeiro said the supermarket chain — by far the plaza's largest occupant — could object to the outdoor seating or the fact that the shop would be selling coffee. The supermarket has its own small coffee kiosk for customers inside the store.

"Stop & Shop has got to be OK with it, too," he said. "It's the only thing that we're contingent."

Still, Cordeiro said, things have been positive with the talks and for the project as a whole.

"So far, all the indications are that it's fine," he said.

'Perfect Opportunity'

Cordeiro said the negotiations will continue, and he hoped to have an update on the project's status next week.

"When we saw this space came up we jumped at it," told East Haven Patch.

"This is a perfect opportunity for the town of East Haven," he said.


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Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 15, 2012 at 03:13 AM
I do understand the word "demographic", Vinnie. I didn't mean to disagree with you. I just think it's important to encourage a new business, with hopes of coming to town. There are many of us, who would try to support such an endeavor. We'd love to see something new. We'd love to see new businesses come to town. To me, it's not about the draw from other towns. We need to help our own businesses first. There's little, currently, to draw in outsiders. Would be nice, though. I'm a realist. However, I do make an effort to support small business, as it sounds like you would.
Corey Fyke (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 04:16 AM
If someone would give me a locally owned place to drink decent coffee and eat delicious baked goods while reading about the demise of my beloved Red Sox on the free WiFi, I would support it in a heartbeat. The FroYo aspect is just a super-awesome bonus. Bring it on!
Michele Antisdel September 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM
@Vinnie: of course it comes from the bag, its the quality of the beans and how it is made that is the difference and to me, how it is served. When I go into D&D, the help barely speaks English, they rarely make my order the right way, and you can forget about so much as a smile. I go to an upscale coffee shop (Starbucks, Blue State, Willoughby's) and I get a smile, a "hello, I'm .... what can I get for you today?" and my drink is always made to perfection. To me, that is all worth it and the reason why I go to those types of shops instead of D&D. And yes, right now EH is anything but high-end, but we need to start somewhere. We have Sugar, we have Bistro, we have Yamadora, and several other really nice businesses, so we're getting there. Very slowly, but we're getting there.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Everyone: One quick note, Mr Cordeiro did mention to me that, if the cafe moved forward, there would most likely be some sort of discount put in place for senior citizens. I'll add that to the article now, as I should have mentioned that originally in the piece given its location. Just an FYI.
Jo Groves September 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM
That nice, but what happened to the Shop Rite Store that was suppose to come to the old Walbaums. People were so excited when that was announced. I hate going to Big Y to costly for seniors.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Jo: I do continue to follow up on the possiblity of Shop Rite opening a new store in the old A&P spot along Foxon Road. And last time I checked it, nothing was definite yet and talks between the company that manages the plaza and the supermarket chain were ongoing. I'll check in again with the management company on Monday and see if there has been any movement since then. As soon as I hear something either way, I will certainly post it ASAP for readers. But here's hoping it comes through soon!
Angela Monaco September 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if Trader Joe's decided to come to Frontage road in the Home Depot Plaza? As much as I would like to see Shop Rite open in EH, I think something like TJ's is totally different. I have spoken to so many people who are dying to have one on this side of the bridge. Orange is too far away for most people to drive, what with traffic and the price of gas!. It would be an asset to EH.
Alphonse A. Kronberg September 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Alphonse A. Kronberg Unfortunately it wont be Starbucks. They truly make the best coffee. I usually will drive to Branford or New Haven for a cup of their bold coffee. To this day I have not found any coffee shop that makes coffee as well as they do. The shop in New Haven brews any coffee they have, on a Clover machine which gives the most delicious, favorable and enjoyable cup of coffee. It is a bit more then a regular cup of coffee but worth the price and the trip. I will try the new place maybe by some miracle some one else will know how to make a great cup of coffee besides Starbucks and myself.
Flowers September 15, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Good location for a coffee shop. Hopefully they can recreate the Starbucks mystique...finding people willing to pay $6.00+ for a cup of coffee. Beware the Stop and Shop skate boarders that hang out in the parking lot. Noisy and unnerving.
Michelle Petroccio September 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I think an upscale coffee shop in town is a great idea, however, not so sure about the location and the traffic in that parking area. It seems very congested as it is, and there are kids who skateboard and ride their bikes there on a daily basis, not to mention the incredible amount of drivers who whip through that lot. There are afternoons when I meet freinds for coffee at D&D, and it would be nice to meet in a more comfortable and appealing setting.
Michele Antisdel September 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I was just chatting with Darlene and Jerry from Liquor Loft and telling them about the possibility of this business coming in. They suggested the proprietor check out Kelly Commons. They said there is vacant space, rent is reasonable, the Land Lord is super nice, there is plenty of parking in the back, there is room in the front to set up cafe tables and chairs. Too bad we couldn't get that message out to the proprietor in case the other location gets squashed by Stop and Shop.
Judith Sekscenski September 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Darlene and Jerry are great! I always go to the Liquor Loft when I need a good bottle of wine to take to someone's house. They are so helpful. And YES! Kelly Commons does have plenty of parking. I think it would get so much better exposure fronting Main Street as opposed to the S&S parking lot. It would be a great addition to the stores in the strip with Liquor Loft.
Angela Monaco September 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
I like the idea of Main Street also. I think they will get more exposure that way. Unless you are in the plaza shopping, people may not know it's there (unless they put a sign up on the Hemingway Avenue side). I also think it's a bit more intimate when it is on the main "drag".
Lorie Pellegrino September 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Does anyone remember, a few years ago, the coffee shop and gift shop at the Old Mill Country Store site? It was charming. Great coffee, and sweets. The atmosphere was cozy and there was great parking. It only lasted approximately 1 year. Hopefully, Mr. Cordeiro will do well. He is facing quite a challenge. I do agree that Main St, would be a better site for a new coffee shop.
Patty DePino September 16, 2012 at 01:18 AM
It would be great to have a nice coffee shop in our town. I am so glad it is not another drug store.
Alphonse A. Kronberg September 16, 2012 at 03:14 AM
FYI a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks is the same or less then a cup of coffee at DD or other places. The big misconception many people have is that every cup of coffee at Starbucks cost a small fortune. The only expensive coffee are the exotic coffee drinks some feel necessary to purchase. The most popular is the caramel marchiotta which I hear many people order.That is probably around three or four dollars. I don't know whats in it and probably never will. When it comes to coffee for me I enjoy dark strong flavorful coffee. The only reg coffee at Starbucks that will cost you a bit more is the one brewed on the Clover machine if your lucky to live close to a Starbucks with one. Coffee done on the Clover will run you anywhere from $2.00 up to $4.00 for an excellent cup of rich superb tasting coffee.
Michele Antisdel September 16, 2012 at 03:31 AM
@Alfonse: What's a clover machine and how is it different than the regular machine? I might like to try coffee made in a different way. And BTW, the carmel macchiatto's are my favorite, I get the "skinny" ones...a girl has to save calories anywhere she can! I'm not entirely sure what makes something a macchiatto, I just know I like it.
FCF September 16, 2012 at 06:27 PM
That was JC Wyatt. I believe the owner of the building was the issue. She was renting the space. I saw recently she opened a store on Main street in Branford. I used to enjoy a coffee by the window in the Old Mill.
Alphonse A. Kronberg September 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Go to this site and you will obtain the information regarding the great clover coffee machine. Unfortunately they cost approx. $12,000 to purchase which is why Starbucks does not put them in all their stores. It is somewhat similar to French Press which I make at home however it is still not as great as a cup done on the Clover. http://www.starbucks.com/coffee/learn/clover
Alphonse A. Kronberg September 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM
They may want to think about bringing some entertainment on the weekend. I'm sure there is a lot of local talent that would be willing to donate some time and do a bit of a show or for a minimum amount. Just an idea. When I was a teenager we used to go to "Bread and Roses" in New haven which served different coffee, teas, snacks etc, and the had Rock and Roll music playing all the time and I believe on occasion a folk singer or other local talent. Like the Exit coffee house which I never went to but heard it was quite good.
Jackie Sargent September 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Absolutely. Why should I have to go to Starbucks in Branford to get a good cup of coffee? D&D is not a good cup for those who really enjoy coffee. I do not enjoy sitting in there to have a cup when I do get one. I would really enjoy a cafe to go to and have good coffee. I'd pay more than $2 for a cup if the atmosphere and coffee was not that of D&D. I know that plenty of others would too.
Jackie Sargent September 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I have emailed Whole Foods in the past to see if they would be opening a store in the shoreline area any time, but no answer. Now that I know about Elm City Market, I go there for organic foods that I want, but still, would be nice to have something other than a big expensive chain store that has limited or no organic products in East Haven.
Leigh Wetherly September 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
This Is a wonderful idea. East haven doesn't have anything like this and I believe it would b a very popular spot for all ages and groups. Good luck with the approvals and I look forward to having our own cafe in East Haven
Lou September 17, 2012 at 05:15 PM
FYI, a dozen cupcakes is $30 so bring your wallet.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 17, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Lou, I think you're referring to Sugar Bakery in your post. The Cash Mob took place at The Sweet Shoppe, which is closer to the fire house on Main Street. They serve ice cream and have yummy chocolates and candy. It's a newer business that hasn't been featured on a national tv program, as yet. They could use the support of locals, frequenting their business. (All business could, I'm sure.) We brought home yummy chocolate covered cashews and sunflower seeds, as well as some other goodies. We'll be going back. Give them a try, if you haven't stopped in, as yet.
Michele Antisdel September 17, 2012 at 10:30 PM
well, look at it this way. If people are willing to pay the prices they do for Sugar's cupcakes, and obviously they ARE willing, then they will pay for a good cup of coffee too. Sugar is upscale and its doing fine in our town so I have no doubt this place will do well also.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Absolutely! I agree, Michele. Excellent point.
Flowers September 18, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Boy this thread prompted a lot of enthusiastic responses including what kind of coffee urn to install. Here's some more advice. Andy Rooney on Starbucks coffee...." I don't like it. It tastes burnt to me".
Lise Cavallaro September 18, 2012 at 02:54 PM
This is great news for East Haven. However, if an upscale coffee shop is willing to come into town, than why can't we have an upscale or even decent clothes store, restaurant, etc. (other than pizza or Chinese) in FOXON!!!!!
Alphonse A. Kronberg September 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM
When I used to go to DD for coffee many moons ago, it smelled like urine when i walked in. No one spoke English and being a diabetic and hating sugar in coffee I used to ask for a regular coffee with a splash of cream. Some one taught the folks that worked there that regular coffee even though I asked for just a splash of cream contained a shovelful of sugar, even when I would say regular coffee splash of cream no sugar they still got the shovel out and put sugar. I never wanted to go to Starbucks, one day my wife said lets try Starbucks after lots of "oiunig and aing" I agreed, when I walked in and smelled the aroma of freshly ground coffee and then tasted their bold roast I was hooked. It didn't taste burnt but, every one has an opinion.


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