Glynis Fairley and Karen Rosen are hoping to create a new coffee destination in an underserved Berkeley neighborhood with the opening next month of Take Five Café at 3132 Sacramento Street.
The motivation is straightforward: the couple live nearby on Woolsey Street and want a place to go themselves. “We often ask ourselves, why isn’t there a social gathering place here, somewhere to meet other neighbors?” said Rosen. “We’d go to a local hangout, so hopefully others will too.”
Take Five (which we tipped in Bites), is currently being built out and aims to be open before the end of August. It is near the intersection with 67th Street, just a few doors north of the recently opened Moxy Beer Garden.
What will be on the menu? Expect drip and French press from the Bay Area’s Bicycle Coffee Company, and pastries and sandwiches featuring ingredients from local purveyors like Fra’ Mani charcuterie and Diestel turkey.
“We are focusing on local food purveyors,” said Rosen. Breads and some pastries will be from Semifreddi’s; other pastries will be provided by Ultimate Cookie and Flour Chylde Bakery of Novato (the latter are gluten-free). “We will also feature handcrafted chocolates from Oakland’s Nancy Nadel and Spanish Patatas from Berkeley’s Marcos Quezada,” Rosen said.
Take Five is a family affair in that several of Fairley and Rosen’s seven children have rolled up their sleeves to help get the the place up and running, and daughter Aisha will be working at the coffee shop full-time when it opens. The couple have had their eye on the Sacramento Street space for a while, but, until it recently went up for rent, it was sitting vacant for at least two years, Rosen said.
The partners received a $25,000 loan from Opportunity Fund to help kickstart the business (watch video below to learn more). Rosen says their respective careers to date — social work and post office employee — has given them the customer service and finance skills that will be essential to running a café.
One area of the Sacramento Street space will be given over to a gift shop and art gallery. Rosen will exhibit some of her own work, as well as that of local artists.
Rosen said that already the café is getting a lot of support even though it’s been nothing more than a construction site for the past few months. The Bicycle Coffee sign in the window is a giveaway, and passers-by often stop to say how much they are looking forward to having a local coffee shop.
As for the name, it has a dual resonance, said Rosen. There’s the famous Dave Brubeck song, of course, and there’s also the idea of “taking five.” As Rosen says, everyone needs to take a break sometimes.