Fresh, smooth coffee coupled with a freshly baked, iced cinnamon roll was the perfect start to a Saturday morning at the new Perry Perk coffee shop.
The shop was quiet when I first walked in, with just one woman and her children getting ready to leave. Within 10 minutes, a line of more than 10 people were waiting for their turn to get a cup of Joe and a treat. Soon the new café was buzzing with greetings and conversations.
I ordered the cinnamon roll and a regular cup of coffee. I added my cursory touch of half and half and a teaspoon of sugar. The coffee was smooth as silk, and the cinnamon roll was a delectable treat, particularly good because I had it warmed up.
The café, decorated with colorful burlap coffee bean sacks in the front and coffee-related signs toward the back, is warm and inviting. One area of Perry Perks has coffee bar seating, perfect for a person to sit undisturbed to work on a computer using the free Internet connection.
Perry Perk offers coffee house drinks such as mocha, latte, cappuccino, double espresso, regular brewed coffee with free refills, hot chocolate, tea and spiced cider. The menu also includes baked goods, quiche and sandwiches such as panini, bagel sandwiches, chicken salad, egg salad and peanut butter and jelly.
The coffee drinks range from $2 for brewed coffee to $4.35 for a smoothie or frappe. Baked goods range from $1 for biscotti to $2.50 for a specialty dessert. Lunch items run from $3.50 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to $6 for a bagel or panini sandwich.
Owner Teri Mason is still working and tweaking the menu. She opened without fanfare on Christmas Eve and was surprised by the number of people who showed up just by word of mouth. Mason says she took her time coming up with the menu and the coffee she wanted.
She and a roaster out of Des Moines created a blend that is only used for her coffee shop after several tasting sessions.
“That’s why the coffee is so smooth,” she says, declining to give away the specific blend.
Many of the baked goods, as well as the quiche available for lunch, are provided by Molly Rowe, owner of River Valley Catering. She doesn’t always make the dish, however, but provides the ingredients, Mason says. For example, she delivers the quiche ingredients and the crust so that Mason can bake the quiche fresh.
At the time of my visit, Mason was still in the process of coming up with various types of sandwiches and soups, a menu most likely completed at the time of this publication.
1218 Second Ave.
Tues. – Sat.: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.