Caffeine Cafe mockup and sandwich
Caffeine Cafe
Gets You Off to a Good Start
Chef Laurent Tourondel is never short on great ideas for culinary concepts, and now he can add an honest-to-goodness café to his long list of brick-and-mortar eateries. Caffeine Cafe opened in Westhampton in May around a simple premise: great coffee and tasty morsels to accompany it in the form of a variety of pastries, mini sandwiches and açai bowls.

Designed by Lula Galeano, a principal at Studio Galeon, Caffeine Cafe boasts a neutral white and light color scheme to keep it monotonal and light for the beach. Simple design features include antique off-white tile, cream tables, light oak beams, white linens and plaster walls. It feels warm and inviting with bench seating, a counter and rattan accessories.

Chef Tourondel adds a personal stamp to each of his properties, and this is no exception. A gallery wall features his curated selection of paintings related to the sea and flowers as well as portraits. Galeano says they are a mix of vintage and new — some she discovered while thrifting around New York City, others he discovered online.

Fresh açai berries in a bowl
The Fascinating History behind Açai Bowls

It looks amazing and is good for you, but what else do you know about the not-so-humble açai bowl? How about that the açai berry (pronounced ah-sah-EE) grows on tall, slender palm trees in the Amazon rainforest. And you can trace its origins to a time when it was a vital source of food for the ribeirinhos — or river people — who lived there.

There were no sweeteners back then. Instead, berries were harvested in clusters by skilled men who scaled the pole-like trunks with ease. They were soaked for hours in water to soften the flesh and skin, which could then be rubbed off the center pit by hand. A dietary staple, the thick purple pulp was eaten with fish, with meat or by itself as a soup. Its creamy texture was filling, and the earthy flavors mellowed with hints of cocoa.

When the river people started moving to northern Brazilian cities, they brought along their secret weapon that was adopted by jiu-jitsu fighters and surfers, who appreciated the berries’ natural energy and nutritional properties. Shaka to a most-needed midday boost!

The rest of the world would discover these fiber-rich berries and their superfruit powers and antioxidant properties much later, but it took a while for the berries to make the jump to Europe and America, because they did not travel well.

In around 2000, brothers Ryan and Jeremy Black began exporting the berries to the States, where demand skyrocketed. The rest is history, and many people now claim their favorite spots to get their açai bowls from. Will Caffeine Cafe be yours?

Açai bowl with various fruits
What does Chef Tourondel drink?
“I’m more of a tea drinker, but I love a caramel macchiato when the mood strikes me!”
La Columbe Coffee Roasters logo
Coffee that makes you feel good.

Started more than 25 years ago by two partners, Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti, La Colombe is a testament to an original mission to not only serve good coffee but also use it as an agent of change. Throughout the years, they have established long-term support of Haitian coffee farmers, hosted socially conscious community events and followed environmentally friendly practices and direct sourcing.

Coffee with decorative foam