Formerly located at the corner of Route 109 and Old Route 109, the Moultonborough coffee house known as Cup and Crumb has just moved to a new location, bigger and better than the original space. For regulars such as myself, this is a good thing!
There is now seating for about 44, compared to eight in the old spot. The New England country atmosphere has been maintained, with interesting old train posters, a dog sled mounted on the beams of the ceiling, crossed skis on one wall, and pictures of what the building looked like before the renovation. It had been the Berry Pond Motel, and several restaurants. The original roof was maintained with its beautiful beams, and placed on the new structure. There is ample parking, and the location on Route 25, across from the Moultonborough Police and Fire station, is very convenient for entering and exiting.
Kim Prause, the owner, said that she started the business because there was the need for a good bakery and coffee shop in the area, and she has achieved just that.
Prause, a former English teacher and assistant principal in the Moultonborough School System, has achieved an atmosphere that reminds me of the TV show ”Cheers.” The theme song kept running through my head on my visit this past Saturday morning, “A place where everybody knows your name” as I greeted friends from Sandwich, Center Harbor, Meredith and Moultonborough. The staff gets an “A” in friendliness and efficiency, and remembering what you like, if you are a regular. "Hi Barbara, your usual?” (An Americano and probably a Pain au Chocolat on most days). The shop earned a “Best in New Hampshire” in 2016, and the framed certificate is proudly on view.
Within the building, Jen Clifford runs the “For Goodness Cakes,” a for the most part special order business. She produces beautifully constructed cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, and special occasions. Last year she made one for the organist at my church, to celebrate an anniversary of service. It was lovely, complete with chocolate musical notes as decoration. She did a birthday cake for me, (ordered by my family, unbeknownst to me!). It was a many layered chocolate cake with a raspberry mousse filling, and iced with blue buttercream frosting, and a motif on top of a chef’s knife cutting a carrot! (My granddaughter remembered since I was a Christmas week birthday, I always want blue frosting, so my cake stood out from the usual red and green) It was a show stopper! Special orders are accepted for anything, from muffins for an early breakfast meeting, to pies for Sunday supper. Five days’ notice are requested for special orders, more, if possible during the summer and holidays.
The coffee served is the best! They use freshly ground free-trade organic Good Vibes coffee, roasted in North Conway. Along with freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, americano, and lattes are offered on the blackboard menu, with chai latte and iced drinks. Mighty Leaf steeped tea, is also available. Should you so desire, you can have soy or almond milk, an extra espresso shot, and flavored coffees are also offered. Hot chocolate is on the menu, and bottled drinks, water and juice are in the cooler.
When you enter the shop, you will see a sign indicating that “the line forms here,” and on several of my recent visits, there was indeed a line, out the door! But it moved very quickly due to the well trained staff. You will pass by the cooler, where all baked goods that require being refrigerated, are kept. Delicious cookie dough bars, studded with chocolate, are on view, as well as some cupcakes, and one of Jen’s cakes with swirled butter cream rosettes adorning it. Then you arrive at the moment of decision: one of delicious scones, raspberry and blueberry, or lemon and ginger, the choice goes on! The croissants and Pain au Chocolat are the best I have tasted west of the Champs Elysee. Using a pre-laminated dough, they are cut and baked on the premises, and can be warmed if you wish, the staff is most accommodating for special requests.
Everything is baked daily in the kitchen, so offerings vary from day to day, it’s a really hard decision! Will it be a bakery-made whoopie pie, a slice of espresso coffee cake, or a mini lemon bundt cake?
You’ll just have to go and make the choice yourself! (It may be one of the hardest decisions you will make that day!)
Cup and Crumb is open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (603) 476-7078 or visit cupandcrumb.com.
Barbara Lauterbach is a member of International Association of Culinary Professionals and a Certified Culinary Professional with extensive background in teaching, lecturing, demonstration and product promotion. She is the author of four cookbooks, and has been published in Cooking Light, Yankee, Fine Cooking and the Boston Globe. She lives in Meredith.