GOOD EATING — The Comfort Zone Cafe is located at 17 Main St. in Hamburg.
HAMBURG — The Comfort Zone Cafe, which is nestled on Main Street in Hamburg, offers its customers an array of healthy, homemade drinks and food items.
Owner Cindy Barrett opened her doors in 1997, after surveying the restaurants in the village to see where there was a need.
While Barrett said that her original vision was to open a coffee shop, she said that “the town wanted it to be a lot more than that. Now, it’s much more like a cafe than I ever expected.”
Barrett said that she is focused on healthier eating and, while she said that her customers will receive their food quickly, they won’t find any of the deep-fried items that appear on fast food menus. In fact, the cafe does not even sport a deep fryer.
“Because we make homemade soups and do our own baking, we have a lot more control over what goes into our food,” she said.
The cafe serves breakfast and lunch all day long. Both offer gluten-free options.
The breakfast menu sports sandwiches, wraps, bagels quiches, scrambles, yogurt, granola, berries, oatmeal and more. The lunch menu contains a variety of sandwiches, paninis, wraps and more. The current lunch offerings include special summer salads, which will be offered through Labor Day.
The cafe also boasts two homemade soups, every day. One is always vegetarian and one is meat-based. In addition, one is always clear, while one is cream-based.
A lot of the cafe’s pastries are homemade; gluten-free items always appear on the pastry shelves.
“We always carry a variety of muffins and pies; we like to switch it up,” Barrett said.
In keeping with the healthy options theme, the cafe offers 100 percent Arabica coffee; most of what is sold at the shop is fair trade organic. Customers can choose from the medium roast house blend, a dark roast, two flavored coffees and one flavored and one regular decaf. The coffee options rotate, on a daily basis.
The cafe has more than 30 kinds of coffee. The shop’s offerings are freshly-ground from beans, every day. Customers may also purchase bean or ground bags of the java.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? — Comfort Zone Cafe employees Carole Troidl (left) and Effie Frank (right) are pictured with business owner Cindy Barrett. Photos by Jessie Owen.
Barrett utilizes a few coffee distributors, but she primarily uses java from New Day Coffee Roasters, which is based out of Wheatfield, N.Y. The distributor joins Barrett at the weekly Saturday Hamburg farmers market.
“We like to use local items as much as possible,” Barrett said. Much of the produce used in the cafe’s menu items is purchased at the farmers market. “Our menu changes with the produce that is currently available,” the business owner added.
The cafe won best display of theme, best hamburger and best overall, during this year’s Burgerfest.
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME — Customers at the Comfort Zone Cafe can eat in, or take advantage of the takeout menu.
Three of the shop’s 13 employees do the cooking, on a rotating basis. These include Barrett, her daughter Zenia Barrett and her sister, Carole Troidl.
In addition to its menu options, the shop also sports a merchandise wall, which includes mugs, tea pots, dinnerware, the Born in Buffalo line, tchotchkes, flavored syrups, teas, coffees and more, all for sale.
A line of artwork by Buffalo Botanical Garden art class students is currently being featured at the cafe. Local, nature-themed photography will soon be offered, for sale. The sounds of local and guest musicians can also be heard in the cafe, from time to time. Mat Burke’s Death & Glaciers tour will make a stop at the Hamburg restaurant from 8 – 11 p.m. on Aug. 10. Local authors are also often invited to host readings.
Barrett said that the local community has been very supportive of the Hamburg business. “We have the greatest customers,” she said. “They’ve really kept the business alive.”
Comfort Zone Cafe is located at 17 Main St. in Hamburg. It is open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Monday – Thursday; 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Both street and lot parking are available. For more information, call 648-5779, visit www.comfortzonecafe.com or check out the cafe on Facebook, where each day’s menu and specials are posted. The shop also participates in Foursquare© promotions.