What happens when the owners of arguably the best bakery in town buy a coffee shop? You get Mama’s Coffee House in Pineville, a one-stop shop for high-quality caffeine and handcrafted treats. Add reliable Wi-Fi, lots of seating, ample electrical outlets and the welcome distraction of floor to ceiling customer graffiti to read and you’ve got my new favorite satellite office.
Walking into Mama’s is like walking into your actual mom’s house on a holiday. When I dropped by on a rainy Sunday morning they were packed with friends and families huddled around tables. Two women sat in leather chairs like they were in their own living room. A red-headed kid rolled a toy pickup truck into my foot. In front of the fireplace, four friends sipped coffee and chatted in Spanish.
I almost felt like I’d mistakenly walked into one big private party where everyone knew everyone else, but as the morning wore on and people dispersed in separate waves with their respective groups, I realized Mama’s was just one of those special places where strangers look like family.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s family run and located in a real house.
Ellie and Juan Zarza opened the coffee house back in 2011 but sold it to Manolo Betancur earlier this year. Manolo and his wife Zhenia also own Las Delicias on Central Avenue, a bakery they purchased from her parents after they retired in 2011.
In addition to panini and breakfast sandwiches, Mama’s also carries treats from Las Delicias. I was dying to try an empanada but they only had beef and chicken when I was there. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a vegetarian option…
After purchasing my tea, the barista handed me a loyalty punch card (buy 8 drinks, get one free) and then slid a black Magic Marker across the table. “Now, join the family and leave your mark,” he said with a smile.
Every inch of Mama’s – from the front door to the ceiling – is covered in customer graffiti. It’s a mix of inspirational quotes, drawings and other declarations. I decided a simple signature would do for my first visit.
So it’s official: I’m in. Now, to get them to open one in Charlotte…
Connect with Mama’s Coffee House
(Photo credits: Las Delicias dessert photos via Mama’s Facebook page.)