Kevin, Erica and Andrew, owners of Europa Pastries, holding festive drinks

Europa Pastries: A Continental Trip in Fall River

Since 2020, Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. has been happily supporting local food spots by spotlighting a new one each month. The trust and estate planning law firm is particularly thrilled to feature Europa Pastries because, just like this special Fall River cafe, Surprenant & Beneski is founded by siblings who enjoy working together and who offer a first class experience for their clients.

Europa Pastries on a weekday morningOn any weekday morning, you can open the door into Europa Pastries Coffee Shop and the tables will be filled with folks visiting with one another, chatting pretty much entirely in Portuguese. At the counter, people are also using Portuguese. For a minute, you wonder where you are because it feels so much like you're actually in Europe.

The pastry case at Europa PastriesThe little cafe on the corner of Columbia Street and Ponta Delgado Boulevard has been open for over 20 years. Anne Marie Fayer was sitting with some friends and raved: "I love this place, it's my favorite place!"

Six years ago, Erica and Kevin Couto and Andrew Ferreira bought the business together and, ever since, they've been infusing it with a youthful vigor while keeping the same European cafe vibe. What does that mean? The bread and pastries are based on favorite recipes from throughout Europe. The drinks are inspired by various countries. It's table service with dishes, no plastic.

Erica holding a mini-sweet breadSiblings Erica and Andrew grew up nearby, visiting Europa every weekend. When they knew it was for sale, they jumped at the chance. Each of the owners has their specialty: Erica handles the pastry, her husband Kevin bakes the bread and tarts and Andrew handles the savory items and the drinks. Erica loves how you take a few ingredients -- sugar, water, flour, eggs -- and create magic. It feels like that's what the family has done with the little storefront that has served as a library and apothecary in the past. They've taken a few ingredients and created magic.

The owners of Europa Pastries holding their sweet breadWe went in recently to try their massa, the Portuguese sweet bread, as part of the South Coast Snackdown (where you visit 16 local bakeries and vote on the best sweet bread -- so fun!). The bread was yummy (based on the original recipe of Erica and Andrew's great-grandmother, which adds lemon peel with the vanilla).  And it was incredibly thoughtful that they've made mini-loaves of sweet bread, knowing that if you visit all 16 bakeries, that's a LOT of dough.

Going in to try the bread was the intent, anyway. But we got distracted by everything else. Erica was in the kitchen working on their dessert special for Fall River's upcoming Restaurant Week (scheduled for March 15 -March 24): baklava individually baked in antique jello molds, served elegantly with a side of rose water simple syrup to be poured over the pastry.

Erica making a signature baklava

Erica pours the syrup over the baklava

Meanwhile, Andrew was behind the counter creating mocktails that are on fire. And we mean that literally. He created an alcohol-free pomegranate mule, topped with a hickory smoked giant bubble, that he torched with a flame. So fun!

Andrew creating signature mocktails

Andrew creating a hickory smoked bubble on mocktail
Smoking drink!

Andrew with his signature mocktailThe festive coffee drinks are named after famous European landmarks like their Louvre (spiced caramel maple latte), Colosseum (a pistachio latte) and Versailles (lavender tea latte). While we lingered over our drinks and sweet bread, we caught a glimpse of two women enjoying tea, with adorable individual tea pots atop the cups themselves, something that the Coutos ordered after seeing them in Portugal. Yet another treat to enjoy at Europa Pastries.The Louvre coffee drink

Meanwhile, the secret about Europa Pastries is getting out. Andrew says that when they first ran the shop, they were using Portuguese 90% of the time with customers. They now speak it only 60% of the time. We suggest you go while it still feels like a secret getaway to Europe in the middle of your week.

Europa Pastries Coffee Shop, 65 Columbia Street, Fall River.

Photos by Liam Connor.

We hope you enjoyed this post, which is part of a series of blog posts celebrating local food spots, sponsored by Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., the premier estate planning and elder law practice serving clients in Southeastern Massachusetts. Surprenant & Beneski can help you prepare the foundational documents needed to facilitate healthcare, financial and legal decisions should a medical crisis occur. Early planning can save money, heartache and angst during a temporary bout of incapacity or a long-term care event. Getting your estate plan in order gives you peace of mind. Find out more about Surprenant & Beneski here.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss learning the next favorite food spot, sign up here.

Woman sipping coffee and holding a newborn babyLast post in the series: With a mix between an urban coffee shop -- constant foot traffic, baristas who understand the intricacies of good coffee production -- and a small town hangout, Padanaram's Scuttlebutt has probably achieved the exact vibe that owners Casey and Mike Cutting and Jake Shwartz were going for when they imagined their little coffee shop. Find out more here. 

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