From Vermont Today (Feb. 1, 2007):
Apron Strings Café recently opened at 41 Main Street in Springfield in the Woolson Block. Tami Thomas and a friend, Susan Vogell, began Apron Strings three years ago as a home-based weekday lunch catering service for local businesses. The idea to expand into a café came about when the partners saw a niche for a downtown shop where people could meet over coffee. Thomas chose the Woolson Block because the Main street location provided good accessibility and street visibility.
“People missed having a downtown location to meet, have a cup of coffee and sit in a casual atmosphere. The café is a place that people can come to enjoy conversation over a latté or cup of tea,” says Thomas. A drop-ceiling was removed to reveal the original tin ceiling and the space was given a “whole facelift” by Thomas’s husband, friends and family to bring it back to what it may have looked like 40 or 50 years ago. Thomas’s mother-in-law assists with food preparation and café operations and Thomas’s eldest daughter is the Barista, cappuccino and espresso coffee maker. Another daughter is a sandwich maker.
Financing was arranged through Connecticut River Valley Bank. Thomas found the bank to be very forthcoming, helpful and anxious to help local business community start-up ventures.
Thomas sampled Mocha Joe’s coffees in a “cupping” (coffee tasting) at Mocha Joe’s Café in Brattleboro, arranged by sales manager, Christopher Pyatik, who offered advice and recommendations. Her visit to the company’s café gave Thomas first-hand exposure to various coffees and service needs for her café. Thomas chose Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic, (French roast), Guatemalan Organic (full-bodied roast) and a Colombian decaf for her café.
The café serves Mocha Joe’s Coffee and espresso, along with sandwiches, freshly made soups and salads, pastries and desserts baked at the café. Sandwich and soup specials are offered daily along with four mainstay sandwiches. On and off-site catering is also available. The café has a counter service with a variety of hot and cold coffee drinks, Italian sodas, freshly squeezed lemonade and fresh healthful smoothies and herbal teas. Table and chair seating is available along with a living room-style area with a couch and high back chairs, a game table and a stand or sit-down bar. A special tea shelf displays antique teacups and colorful individual teapots. A tea box is filled with herbal teas for people to choose from. Customers can bring laptops to the café and connect to the Internet. Wi-Fi, wireless Internet service, is offered free of charge as an extra plus to customers.
“An Evening At the Café” is offered on a random Saturday evening during the month with musical entertainment in a variety of styles from folk, Irish, folk pop to chamber that has included Brendan Thomas, Dan Walker, Gypsy Reel and Comtu Chamber Players. Posters are displayed in the restaurant announcing when the entertainment evening is scheduled. Beer and wine is served along with a nosh platter of appetizers and a chocolate fondue fruit platter. Apron Strings Café is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The mailing address is 41 Main Street, Springfield, VT 05156 and the telephone number is (802) 885-1766.