Cup and Top Cafe
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The Cup and Top Café in Florence, MA is a unique fusion of play space, coffee house and music venue. It feels comfortable like your living room – only with someone to make you a delicious panini and coffee, a place to let your kids be kids without having to worry, and neighbors and friends all around. There are always young ones around, enjoying the slide or the alligator costume, infusing the place with energy. The food is unparalleled, the Dean’s Beans coffee divine.
Owner Helen Kahn admits that her entrance into the restaurant world was a bit of a leap. Before Cup and Top, Helen was a commuter, driving away from her Florence home to her office job. “I was living in this beautiful community that I had to drive away from every day,” says Helen about the moment she realized she wanted to be more involved in the community. She imagined a café with a play space – perfect for parents with young children like Helen herself. Her mission: to provide delicious food in a family-friendly atmosphere. With a little encouragement from her partner, she leapt. Cup and Top Café was born.
“From the outset, I wanted to focus on local. Local food, local art, local musicians and artists,” says Helen. Her commitment to local is all-encompassing – local food, local talent. The café’s walls feature a rotating batch of art by local artists, and CD’s and books by Valley natives are for sale by the door. The café hosts local musicians in concert for kids and adults alike.
This commitment extends naturally onto the menu, and the café uses local produce, fruit and dairy products. Daily specials give Chef Jen, who studied wellness and alternative medicine, worked on farms and in natural food stores before coming to Cup and Top, a chance to work in seasonal produce. Greens from Old Friends Farm make up crisp salads, eggs from Diemand Farm nestle in whole-wheat wraps or on a thick slab of Bread Euphoria toast. In the height of strawberry season, Jen fills pies and muffins with the freshest berries. Some of the more obscure farm items are making their way into delicious dishes, like kohlrabi or celeriac. With gluten-free baked goods, vegan treats, and an extensive kids menu, Cup and Top caters to everyone. They are always open to suggestions, and follow through on customer comments.
For Jen, cooking is that transformational process that makes good food into a meal to be laughed and smiled over. When asked what they enjoy most about their work, both Jen and Helen don’t miss a beat. “The people – good people,” the community aspect, phenomenal customers, interacting with farmers and local talent, that is what makes it all worth it at the end of the day. Helen explains, “I am so awed by this area, and now I feel fully a part of it.”
Cup and Top Café is open 7 days a week — 6am-6pm on weekdays and 8am-3pm on weekends
Looking for cupcakes or lunch for your next event? Cup and Top delivers! Large groups can pre-order by calling 413 585-0445
Here is a recipe from Chef Jen that uses local vegetables you can buy at your farmers’ market…
Local Kohl-slaw with cumin yogurt dressing
any other spring local veggie
Chop cabbage, shred kohlrabi, slice turnips, carrots, and radishes.
1/2 cup yogurt- we make our own at the cafe
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp grated red onion
a pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Pour dressing over vegetables and toss – yummy, zesty, and fresh!