A New York City shop is on a mission to provide delicious treats and coffee all under one roof.
Seven Grams Caffé was created seven years ago by Sharon Kazes, who was involved in the coffee industry in the United Kingdom and other places overseas. Upon coming to the United States, what surprised Kazes the most was that he saw a lot of places that had really good coffee and not great pastries, or vice versa.
“I was shocked to see highest level coffee and bakeries, but not both in the same place. There would be really great coffee with outsourced baked goods, or the other way around. There wasn’t a place that does both,” said Kazes.
Kazes opened the first Seven Grams Caffé in Chelsea at 275 7th Avenue, and has since opened two more stores; one in SoHo, at 175 Varick St., and another in Flatiron at 76 Madison Avenue. Kazes wanted to zero in on not only roasting the best possible coffee beans while also creating delicious baked goods that were made in-house.
Seven Grams Caffé quickly cultivated a massive customer base and an array of positive reviews in Forbes, Food 52, The New York Times and more. Though the stores have delicious options such as scones and banana bread, what really caught the public’s eye was Seven Grams Caffé’s massive cookies, particularly the vegan chocolate chip cookie.
“Being in the US, you have such a classic in the chocolate chip cookie. Why not innovate such a classic and make something plant-based that tastes as good as the original?” said Kazes. “There’s a lot of vegan baked goods that have sort of an after taste, or are compromising on flavor or texture — we were on a quest to not compromise on anything.”
Perfecting the vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe was a year-long process of experimentation. Ultimately, the final product resulted in a cookie that uses oil and tahini instead of butter and eggs, as well as vegan chocolate sourced from California.
The cookie’s popularity exploded, gaining attention from a number of publications and customers alike. As a result, Seven Grams Caffé began to add vegan and gluten free items to their baked good offerings.
Like many local businesses, Seven Grams Caffé had to pivot its business practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to keep employees and customers safe, all three Seven Grams Caffé locations closed down for three months.
“This was such a roller coaster, no one knew what to expect,” said Kazes. “There wasn’t anything you could look to to see how you operate. That week, Monday was fine, Tuesday/Wednesday we saw that this was escalating. By Saturday, we closed all three shops.”
Seven Grams Caffé was fortunate enough to reopen in 2020 with all of the COVID-19 safety measures in place, but foot traffic was low as more people stayed home. Kazes want to still be able to reach customers during this time of uncertainty and started up an online store for customers to be able to purchase Seven Grams Caffé products from home.
The online store features everything you can get at one of the Seven Grams Caffé brick-and-mortar stores, including their signature coffee beans and all of their housemade baked goods.
“We thought about nationwide shipping but never made it a priority,” said Kazes. “We then had some downtime and time to reinvent, that’s when we started the web store and shipping nationwide.”
The online store blew up, picking up sales from across the country. Kazes and the team believe that wanting good quality comfort food was part of the draw of the store, particularly with their cookie sales.
“I think the cookies were really a huge draw, they got so many incredible reviews from tough critics. People were looking for comfort food and wanted to enjoy something that was comforting at home,” said Kazes. “People started working from home but were not gonna compromise on quality. I don’t think people were putting emphasis on coffee because it was readily available at home.”
Now that New York City has been opening back up, Kazes is excited to interact with customers again face to face.
“Our bread and butter has been the stores and the interaction with customers,” said Kazes. “We’re proud of being a New York City small business. There have been really big coffee players who were bought out, we’re proud of being that survived pandemic. I’m excited every day when we get to operate them.”
That being said, Seven Grams Caffé will continue to grow its online sales in an effort to reach more and more people across the country.
“The online business is so heartwarming to me, to see people all over the country interacting, sending our products as gifts, it’s a blessing to be able to do,” said Kazes. “We’re conscious of fact we were lucky enough to reopen and fortunate to have an online business.”
For more information, visit sevengramscaffe.com.