WILTON, Conn. – Enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other at Coffee Story, a new coffee shop and café in Wilton Center.
Located at 151 Old Ridgefield Road in the space formerly occupied by Steve’s Bagels, Coffee Story serves up locally roasted gourmet coffee, espresso, iced coffee, frappes, freshly pressed vegetable juices and fruit smoothies, bagels and frozen yogurt in a relaxed atmosphere featuring free WiFi and a shelf full of books customers can read during their visits.
Owner Han Lee said he hopes the shop becomes a place everyone from coffee aficionados to bookworms go to slow down and escape the daily grind.
“I wanted to create a very chill, cozy spot with a vintage look,” said Lee, a Ridgefield resident. “I want people to be able to come in, sit down and enjoy good coffee and a good book. I want people to feel comfortable.”
When customers walk inside the shop, they are welcomed by warm pumpkin-colored walls decorated with humorous musings such as “Procrastinate Now,” “My life is a work in progress” and “Real friends don’t let friends drink bad coffee.”
Though the atmosphere may be laid back, Lee is serious about quality coffee. The shop’s coffee is supplied by Coffee Lab Roasters based in Tarrytown, N.Y. Also, every drink is manually made to order from start to finish. For example, the coffee beans are ground once an order is placed, not in advance.
“We don’t make drinks here by just pushing one button on a machine,” Lee said.
Coffee Story is Lee’s first business venture. Before opening the shop, he lived in New York City and worked in the financial sector. A few months ago, his parents — who own the Sun Spa & Nails salon in the same building — told him the space was available and asked whether he wanted to open a salad bar.
At first, Lee said he wasn’t interested. However, after thinking about it, he agreed — but nixed the salad bar idea.
“I wanted to do something I know a little about and have an interest in, and that’s coffee,” said Lee, who developed an interest in coffee while working at a Starbucks while in college.
Hoping the shop will become “overwhelmed” with books, Lee is working with the Wilton Library to add to the shop’s collection. Book donations from the community will also be accepted, he said.
Aside from books, Lee plans to have classic board games, such as chess and checkers, on hand for customers.
Soon, Lee said customers can also look forward to an expanded menu, featuring breakfast sandwiches, hot and cold sandwiches and a variety of pastries.
Coffee Story celebrated its grand opening Aug. 26 and is open daily.