This Jefferson-Chalmers Café Combines Cool Vibes With a Cryptic Name

Coffee and (______) is a small-town social center in the big city


The stretch of Detroit’s Jefferson Avenue just east of Chalmers began to take on a spruced-up new look just about the time Angela Foster (above) decided to relocate her West Village pop-up there. She had dipped her toe into the neighborhood the first time during a “June on Jefferson” event in 2013, thinking it would be a temporary move.

Four years later, she’s still there, behind the intriguing sign that prompts a second look with its enigmatic name: Coffee and (______).

To discover what the blank stands for, go inside. What the talented pastry chef has come up with is a one-of-a-kind spot that has become a haven for those who appreciate its friendliness and undemanding welcome.

Bring a book or a laptop and sit at the coffee bar where Foster makes a long list of organic coffees, teas, and hot chocolate one cup at a time. Or, take a table or perch on a chaise lounge near the front windows. And maybe ask what is the featured pastry of the day.

It’s all open seating. Stay as long as you want, and if you’d like to bring in a piece of art you hope to sell, feel free. Detroit artist Ouizi did, a collage she calls “Parts of a Whole,” displayed toward the back of the room (and not yet sold on our last visit).

Still, says Foster, “this is not for everybody.” Perhaps it’s too laid-back, or the plant-based/vegan spin is too severe for some, but that group is surely in the minority. It’s a small-town social center in the big city, and it’s hard to resist.

Foster was born in Saginaw, and got a degree at Eastern Michigan University in film, theatre, and English. She followed that up with a certificate in baking and pastry art from Schoolcraft College the very first year it was offered (2004). Her eclectic career over the years has included being a chef (and first mate) on a 37-foot sailboat for six months and two years at the Ritz-Carlton, during which time one of her tasks was doing “plates” — decorating each plate before it was taken to the dining room.

She seems to have found her niche in this flower-bedecked storefront with her favorite fresh blush pink roses displayed in glass vials, one of the touches that gives Coffee and (______) its personality. 

Special events in January include brunch from 10 a.m-3 p.m. on Jan. 7 and open-mic nights from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 23. Hours vary. Call 708-717-1514 to check the schedule. 14409 E. Jefferson, Detroit.


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Dinner Series Addressing Privilege Through Food Comes to Detroit

Tunde Wey makes a case for a socially driven dining experience that goes beyond the plate

The Guilt-free Truth about Truffles

From ingredients to packaging, this sweet treat offers a healthy twist on snacking

City Bakery Finds a Home Inside the Fisher Building

Detroit gets a taste of New York with the bakery's first Midwest expansion

Exploring the Art of Over-the-Top Cocktails

We gave five of metro Detroit’s top bartenders full creative freedom to craft their most avant-garde concoctions. What we got exceeded our highest expectations

Lumen Detroit Opens in DTE’s Beacon Park

The brasserie-meets-beer garden is another bright spot on the Detroit dining scene
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Suburban Polish Restaurant That Rivals Hamtramck
    Troy’s Polka Restaurant is a thoroughly modern take on Polish traditions
  2. The Greatest (Woman) Of All Time
    Flint boxer Claressa Shields may have Olympic gold medals under her belt, but she’s just...
  3. Meet Some of the Women Running for Office in Michigan
    Michigan voters are seeing more female candidates on the ballot than ever before
  4. An Hour With... Rachelle Vartanian
    Founder and President, Living and Learning Enrichment Center
  5. Meet the Makers: Tree Trunk Arts
    A Detroit metalsmith and jewelry designer is transforming greenery into accessories
  6. An Hour With... Carmen McIntyre
    Chief Medical Officer, Michigan Department of Corrections
  7. Fashion Report: Spring’s Top Trends
    Get the look with the season’s best dresses, tops, accessories, and more
  8. City Bakery Finds a Home Inside the Fisher Building
    Detroit gets a taste of New York with the bakery's first Midwest expansion
  9. Meet the Michigan Native Known for His Palm Beach Landscapes
    Keith Williams’ inherent knack for landscaping blossomed from his Bloomfield Hills yard
  10. Cocktail Recipe: Black Widow Margarita