Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is a law firm that is all about family and they know food is an integral part of family life. They also like to support local food spots, like Scuttlebutt Coffee, where friends and family gather to drink great coffee and enjoy whatever happens to be on the always changing -- but always delicious -- menu.
On a cold January weekday morning, the streets of Padanaram Village were quiet and, except for some dog walkers, there weren't many people milling about. But the scene inside Scuttlebutt was jumping.
The tables were filled, there was a line at the register. Baristas were whipping up coffees and cooks were sending out great looking treats and breakfasts from the kitchen. They were selling out of scones and baking new batches.
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, 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.
Casey grew up in Dartmouth but was living in London where she worked at a local coffee shop. When she and her husband Mike moved back to the area, they saw an opportunity. Casey says, "in London, you could fall out of bed into a great coffeeshop." They wanted to recreate those great coffeeshops here. They met Jake Shwartz who had recently moved back home from Portland, Oregon -- with a similar thriving coffee culture -- and he was having similar thoughts.
They started the business by visiting farmers' markets, then moved into Padanaram Village when Little Moss Restaurant generously loaned them their space on weekend mornings. Their research question: "was there a market for great coffee?" These weekend mornings at Little Moss had lines out the door reaching all the way to the Padanaram Bridge. The answer was obvious: "hell, yeah!"
They looked for their own space and found it close by, a gathering spot where people can feel comfortable whether they know what third-wave coffee is, or not. Everyone is welcome! Come in and ask: what's a flat white? what's the difference between a latte and cappucino? Or ask for the single-origin coffee. Wherever you are on your coffee journey, you have a home at Scuttlebutt (even newborns!).
- the coffee is the best around, with baristas trained to respect the process and temperatures involved in making perfect cups
- the only permanent thing on the menu is the scones; otherwise everything is changing every day to keep folks in the kitchen excited and to take advantage of seasonal produce available. People get excited when they see their favorites appear. Excitement brews over their Chilaquilas (breakfast nachos) or their Scrambler (homemade puff pastry, eggs, broccoli and cheese). They've started offering dinners on Fridays, along with catering service for all sorts of events, from weddings to birthday parties.
- Those scones, wooah! The cranberry scone was like a warm hug. Just out of the oven, I cracked it open and it easily flaked apart, no crumbs. It was delicious.
The staff is having a ton of fun and it shows. After hours, they take over the shop to host their own book clubs with customers. Or you can find them on cold winter days, plunging into the bay with customers. Casey and Jake's parents are in and out most weeks. In warm weather, the patio is filled and you'll probably run into someone you know. The day we visited, Jake's sister Pam was working in one corner.
Even the name is fun. They found it with the help of a nautical dictionary. On old whaling ships, drinking water was stored in a scuttled butt (scuttle means to open, butt means the barrel). So the scuttlebutt -- open cask-- functioned as the office water cooler, a place for sailors to gather and exchange news and ideas. Scuttlebutt does the same for people on the South Coast, with a better selection of refreshments than on an old whaling ship.
If you love coffee, you gotta visit Scuttlebutt. If you view coffee simply as a way to inject caffeine into your body, we also think you gotta visit Scuttlebutt. Jake says, "We're willing to geek out over coffee but we're not gonna push it on you. We're babysitting it the whole way...it's not a commodity to us." Then he poured me a taste of the Perla Negra, a lighter roast, single origin coffee than the generic cup I would normally order. And -- yes -- someone who views coffee as a commodity (me!) could taste the difference.
We think you'll taste it too. Grab a scone while you're there.
Scuttlebutt Coffee Company, 10A Bridge Street, Dartmouth.
Photos by Adam Graves.
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.
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Last post in the series: Magpie's in Mattapoisett is like that throwback shop that you always dreamed was a real thing, like the diner in Mayberry, but the goodies all taste of today, baked at 4 am each morning to bring you the freshest possible treats. Find out more here.