Looking for a place to perk up your mornings and afternoons? A new cafe in Melrose may have just what you're looking for.
Jitters Cafe Inc., 12 Main St., opened its doors to customers on Oct. 16. For those who have yet to visit the cafe, it is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends.
Jitters is a modern coffee shop with a laid back, personal atmosphere featuring free wi-fi, comfy couches and booths and a chalk wall for the kids to write and draw on. The menu features daily baked breads, fresh meats and vegetables that compliment a list of locally roasted, gourmet coffees like their seasonal pumpkin spice or caramel nut crunch. Added to the beverages, the breakfast and lunchtime fare features handmade paninis, specialty salads and other breakfast and lunch delights.
Since the business launched, some of the popular items with customers have been the Sergeant breakfast sandwich, Strawberry Spinach Salad and their house-named Jitterbug panini.
Owner/Manager Tim LaPrade and his fully-staffed five-member team are trying to carve a dedicated niche' in the community, saying, “We already have a lot of regulars from the apartments nearby […] people come in, they are going to see the same people and we want it to be personal.”
Originally from Worcester and now living in Melrose, LaPrade's experience as a restaurateur comes from nine years of business and accounting work in the industry. After an idea for a pizza parlor fell through, LaPrade decided to invest in opening his own coffee shop.
“We are basing everything on being super fresh,” LaPrade said, describing the menu. “All our breads come from local bakeries daily, and even with things like the tomatoes, we're cutting them to order, for every sandwich, to provide the freshest ingredients we can. We also slice the meat every morning. I don't want anything sitting for days.”
Keeping with this fresh and personal attitude, LaPrade wants to respond to what the community wants out of its local coffee brewers, saying, “I am asking every customer what they want, 'How is this, is this good?' Just give me as much feedback as you can […] If someone asks for something we don't have, like almond milk one lady asked for, I go and get it that night.”
Although currently focused on the morning and afternoon crowds, LaPrade said that Jitters might be “shifting its hours in the future" to accommodate those looking for dinner as they get off of work. “This week we also hope to start soups,” added LaPrade.
Hoping to build on their early successes, LaPrade is already amassing some connections through city officials and is hoping to have a ribbon cutting ceremony through the Melrose Chamber of Commerce sometime in the “next few weeks,” he said.