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Neighborhood-focused Dollop Coffee proprietor Dan Weiss, who already owns stores in Buena Park, Streeterville and Lakeview, has teamed up with Hoosier Mama Pie Company’s Paula Haney and opened a coffee and pie shop at 749 Chicago Ave. on Nov. 9. Opening week pies included pumpkin, apple, persimmon and pear, and apple cranberry.
“Paula and I love what we do. Our goal is to bring pie and coffee together,” says Mr. Weiss. “We feel like offering them in a great environment, along with some breakfast and dinner options, is a welcome addition to Evanston.”
Both a full Hoosier Mama Pie Shop – making pies from scratch and selling them whole and by the slice –and a full Dollop espresso bar – with a complete menu of espresso, coffee and tea drinks – the café also serves light meals centered on savory pies and sandwiches.
“I began my professional career as a pastry chef at Trio in Evanston. I felt adopted by the town,” says Hoosier Mama’s Paula Haney. “And Dan went to high school in Evanston, so we both have a soft spot for the town. We feel this area is a great fit for what we want to do, and the process of opening a cafe is pretty streamlined in Evanston compared to opening something comparable in the city.”
The Evanston space, a 2500-square-foot open kitchen with over 100 linear feet of hard rock maple counter, was designed by former director of development and design-build of Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea Paul Leisen, now of Leisendesign, who also designed the Streeterville Dollop Coffee. Mr. Leisen says it is “a new approach to community tables, seating and atmosphere. … This long table concept creates enough room for the whole family to see pie prepared from scratch and coffee brewed by hand.” The space also features period fabricated penny tile from Arkansas and vintage lights.
All of Mr. Weiss’s neighborhood cafés focus on supporting local artisans. He says “the concept of a cafe as a sponge” has always been a goal of his. All the Dollop locations have partnered with Chicago vendors to bring goods to customers from local bakeries and exclusively serve Metropolis coffee.
Paula Haney says pie was part of her family tradition, the first thing she learned to make growing up in Indiana. Hoosier Mama Pie Company, she says, was “inspired by the great old pie shops of the Midwest,” making everything by hand everyday, using the best seasonal and local ingredients. The company has just published a cookbook – “The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie,” published by Evanston’s Agate Press.