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Black Kite Coffee Takes OWE To New Heightsby Emily Rippe
Black Kite Coffee has officially been opened and serving the community since Sunday (a mere four days), and it's already filling a void in the minds and stomachs of residents in the Old West End and adjacent neighborhoods.
Situated at 2499 Collingwood Boulevard, in the former Pumpernickels Deli location, Black Kite is one of the only food-related businesses with an Old West End address, save for the coffee shop at the Toledo Museum of Art. For owner Kristin Kiser and dedicated employees like baker/barista Kristen Vansloun, the coffee shop and bakery is a sign of hope and progress for Toledo's most historic neighborhood.
"It's not just a job for me," Vansloun said. "It's something I, and everyone else who works here, has a passion for."
That passion is demonstrated in the way Vansloun and her fellow employees brew coffee and bake pies and desserts. Experimenting with a variety of fresh, local ingredients, Black Kite workers are serving up sweet truffles, savory pies and bagel bombs in numerous combinations and flavor profiles. Vansloun even mentioned some plans to test out a goat cheese and jalapeno concoction.
"Another great thing about working here is the creative freedom we're given with the menu," Vansloun said.
And while the food is definitely something to write home about (I implore you to try one of their cheesecake/carrot cake truffles), the drinks are also worth the walk or bike ride over. With coffee beans from Cleveland and loose-leaf teas from China, everything else served in the shop is local. Created with a true sense of catering to the surrounding community, the iced coffee is brewed and then placed in a keg and served at an optimal temperature. Cappuccino, lattes, mochas, black coffee and tea are also available.
Still, the biggest contribution Black Kite offers to the neighborhood is a welcoming gathering space. A contemporary, yet comfortable hot spot for friends to sit and catch up with one another; an early morning and late evening establishment where students can study for their exams; and a place that OWE residents like myself can proudly bring my folks when they come and visit me from out of town. Home-made pillows from area crafters accent the big bay windows overlooking Delaware. It's something a poet could easily be inspired by.
was lucky enough to hold the door open for a fellow customer on my way into Black Kite this morning. His name was Peter Van Schaick, and he was eager to tell me about his life as the Tower Watcher at the Collingwood Arts Center. He's been a patron of Black Kite every day since its opening, and he did indeed write a poem for Kiser, the coffee shop's owner. Van Schaick gave me a photocopy of the poem and permission to share it as the closing to my review:
Greeting The Sun
& you at the Black Kite- corner
of Collingwood and Delaware here
in T-Town, O-HI-O
Near those pillows
adorning bay windows, the
vision of a globular
cluster of sweet stars
(unlit of course)
candles so yummily
with truffles, espresso
tea, pies &
Black Kite Coffee is located 2499 Collingwood Blvd. Hours are Mon.-Fri. from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. from 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sun from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit them at http://www.facebook.com/BlackKiteCoffee.
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