Adam Buck, founder of Small Point Cafe, is opening a new java joint on Hope Street. Coffee is still the focal point at Cafe Zoe, with locally roasted fair trade coffees on offer at the espresso bar. Hungry patrons can nosh on hand-held crepes, which are inspired by Japanese and Chinese street food. Cafe Zoe offers a selection of sweet and savory ones, including the Fungi, with smoked Gouda and cremini mushrooms, and the Elvis in Providence, which features peanut butter, bananas, fluff, and pretzel sticks. Buck is also working on getting Kosher certification.
“I’d been thinking about a second location since before the pandemic,” Buck explains. “When I found this place, I knew it was perfect.” Plus, he has great neighbors: Asher Schofield and the gang from Frog & Toad are right next door. CafeZoey.com
After a two-year wait, The Industrious Spirit Company released a second limited run of their Blue Velvet Bourbon in September. The bourbon is made using two types of blue corn: an organic strain of indigo from Kentucky and a “landrace” strain – its genetic makeup nearly identical to its wild ancestor – from Oaxaca, Mexico. Flavor notes of vanilla, caramel, and chocolate mingle with the taste of blue corn tortilla chips in this rare 100 percent corn mash blend.
Blue Velvet is barrel aged for 12-18 months, under the two years typical of bourbon, so the corn flavor isn’t lost in the process. While owner Manya Rubinstein loves a good cocktail, she aims to distill liquors that can stand on their own when sipped over ice or neat, saying, “You shouldn’t have to hide the taste of your spirits.” ISCOSpirits.com
Inspired by friend Brian Leosz’s success with Butterbang Croissants, pastry chef Miguel Allis founded local confection company Hawt Chocolate over the summer, handcrafting artisan bars and bonbons. Allis and his husband are recent Providence transplants, having just moved from Boston where the Mexico City-native climbed the ranks to pastry chef at Flour Bakery under renowned owner Joanne Chang.
Allis’ filled chocolate is inspired by his extensive travels, with flavors like PB&J reminiscent of American nostalgia while Strawberries and Cream is based on a treat he had as a kid. The menu changes seasonally, and fall flavors include a whiskey caramel in a dark chocolate shell. He sells his lush chocolates at Hope & Main’s Wednesday market and anticipates rolling out online ordering soon. “I love how excited people get when they try the chocolate,” he says. HawtChocolatePVD.com
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