Coffee bar, bookstore hopes to create space for Rhody community

Wakefield’s very own Caf Bar blends coffee addicts and bookworms together to make for a unique experience. PHOTO CREDIT: Melissa Marchese

For Caf Bar, a combination book shop and coffee bar in Wakefield, their customers have become a community.

Located at 396 Main St. in Wakefield, Caf Bar has made a unique experience for their customers through their new bookstore atmosphere.

Elias Boutros, the owner of Caf Bar, started the business with the goal of making high-quality coffee and food for the community. 

“We have a passion for using fresh produce and ingredients from our community,” he said.

The coffee shop recently moved to a new location this year, where they now share a storefront with Rarity Books and Binding. With the combination of books and coffee, Jackie Kitts, the manager at Caf Bar, hopes to create a welcoming atmosphere for customers to sit and enjoy their coffee while getting work done or over a conversation with a friend.

Caf Bar opened in March of 2018 and was originally located further up Main Street in a tiny house. However, with the pandemic, the business was struggling to keep their community happy. 

Due to indoor dining restrictions, Caf Bar was operating out of a window. Boutros was upset that their customers were not getting the experience they once enjoyed. 

“We knew that serving out of a window at our old location just wasn’t going to work anymore,” Boutros said.

According to Kitts, a local man approached the workers at Caf Bar and told them that he had just bought a building that he thought they would be great in. The idea took root, and Boutros decided that moving to a bigger location was “the only way” to go.

Boutros, his wife Ally and Kitts, were the only three working during the move. Kitts said the process of remodeling the new building with new floors, ceiling and a new coffee bar was “quite an experience.” 

Once the remodels were finished on the building, the group started looking for staff that shared their values and passions for food and service. Boutros said that regulars at coffee shops become family in many ways after a long time, so he needed to find workers who were willing to build that strong relationship.

“Customers are the first people you see in the morning besides someone you live with,” Boutros said.

Kitts said that she knows the order of many of the customers she sees daily by heart and has become friends with many of them. 

Boutros is aiming for high-quality food and coffee to compliment the high-quality service and smiles of the staff. Caf Bar uses organic ingredients for their food and coffee and, according to Kitts and Boutros, they support local businesses by ordering food from Belmont Market daily.

The final piece of the Caf Bar experience is the coffee itself, according to Boutros. They partner with Down East Coffee Roasters to buy and brew their organic, fair-trade coffee. Boutros wants to make coffee a craft, so the baristas that they chose to hire are trained to make the coffee right and even to do latte art. 

Caf Bar strives to make their experience the best place for a community to come together. 

“We wouldn’t be the same business without the surrounding Wakefield community,” Boutros said. 

Caf Bar’s hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.