Kaffeklatsch: ‘Gather around coffee’ at this German bakery in Lake City


Grab a coffee and a treat, then relax inside this open airy café. At Kaffeklatsch on Lake City Way, the comfortable vibe suggests slowing down, staying awhile, and connecting with good friends.

Owner Annette Heide-Jessen began her German bakery 10 years ago. It happened during the recession of 2008 when both she and her partner, Brian, found themselves suddenly laid off and unemployed. Heide-Jessen worked in the restaurant and bakery industry while her partner made his livelihood in construction.

While Brian eventually went back to work building homes, Heide-Jessen remained unemployed. Finding it challenging to locate work – she decided to create her own. It was a blessing in disguise, for out her struggle, Kaffeklatsch was born.(Image:Richard Schmitz)

The term kaffeklatsch is a German word meaning a “gathering around coffee”. At the turn of the 1900s, it was common for men in Germany to socialize inside their neighborhood public house. Women of the time were not welcome in public houses so the German Hausfrauen (housewife) developed her own social gathering. Small groups of women began gathering in their kitchens to sip coffee and chat. The trend caught on quickly and soon became known as the kaffeklatsch.

The custom of socializing around coffee remains. Today the gathering has moved outside the living rooms and into neighborhood cafés such as Heide-Jessen’s.

“The community gathers here,” she says gesturing around to the bakery counter and occupied tables. “Connections are made and meetings are held here, all over a real cup of coffee and a treat served on real plates.”(Image:Richard Schmitz)

She uses a coffee blend specifically made for her shop called the Lake City Blend. The local coffee roaster, True North, created it to provide a full-bodied, smooth coffee that compliments the German baked goods. They succeeded.

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