A taste of Peru will be coming to Maplewood on Sunday.
Kocafe, located at 1908 Springfield Ave., will be opening at 4 p.m. The café will be serving sandwiches, crepes, pastries, juices, smoothies and coffee-based drinks, according to owner Anthony Escribens.
“Everything we’re going to serve is fresh and delicious,” he said.
Kocafe will be “fusing” Peruvian flavors into their food, according to Escribens. These flavors include guava and maracuya.
“Our number one focus is quality,” Escribens said. “Number two, we’re going to focus on speed. We’re also going to focus on ambiance. We want to give off the warm, loungey environment.”
Kocafe, which can seat up to 15 people, offers tables and chairs as well as sofa chairs for those who wish to eat or drink in the building. Take-out is also available, Escribens said.
According to Escribens, Kocafe will be playing “soft, relaxed music,” such as songs from Peruvian singer songwriter Gian Marco.
Escribens, who has owned a few small businesses in the past, said this is his first café.
“I’ve always been involved in business,” he said in an interview with The Alternative Press. “My family owns a business in Lima, Peru, and also one in Passaic, N.J. I’ve always wanted to do this (open a café).”
Escribens said he did a “full market study” when he decided to open the business.
“I feel it’s something Maplewood would benefit from,” Escribens said.
Everything on the Kocafe menu will be offered all day, according to Escribens.
Kocafe’s name comes from the medicinal cocoa plant in Peru, according to Escribens. The cocoa leaf is used to make cocoa-based tea, which is used to treat altitude sickness in Peru.
Escribens said Kocafe will eventually be offering cocoa-based tea to its customers.
“It tastes like green tea,” Escribens said.
“Springfield Avenue Partnership welcomes Kocafe to the district,” Diana Vitrano, district manager of the partnership, said. “Kocafe will offer breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, coffee, espresso, juice and Wi-Fi. We encourage local residents and people from surrounding communities to visit this new business and the district to sample our diverse offerings.”
Kocafe will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The café’s Sunday hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The official opening of Kocafe on April 3 will feature a ribbon cutting by Mayor Vic DeLuca.
“I’m very excited,” Escribens said of the opening. “We welcome everyone to come.”