Experience a comfortable, home-styled setting at aLatté Cafe, a local family-owned café in downtown Norfolk on Granby Street by MacArthur Center Park that serves coffee, bagel sandwiches, salads and ice cream.The colorful walls had decorative art pieces placed throughout the entire room, bright string lights and chandeliers hanging up above the ceiling, and large leather couches to lounge on,
Coffee lovers might enjoy looking at the “local favorites” board that changes for every season. Their currently popular item for this fall is the Pumpkin Pie Latté, but for those not too high on coffee, there’s assorted drinks of lemonades and teas or even caramel apple cider. Taylor Chilton, a full-time worker at aLatté Cafe, developed a strong relationship with the local business.
“The reason why I think we have a lot of returning customers is that we establish strong relationships with everyone who comes in. We are a very personable store. Our goal always when customers come in is to make them feel like they are coming home. We want people to immediately feel at ease and comfortable,” Chilton said.
The staff was friendly, welcoming and inviting to newcomers and returning customers. aLatté Cafe’s menu of breakfast brunch and lunch items are homestyle and comforting. By the register counter, a small shelf was filled with coffees from exotic places such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya and more. The beans are directly from overseas distributors and the aLatté Cafe staff brew the beans themselves. “We buy all of our coffee beans directly from a coffee distributor in the countries that we get them from. Then, we roast the beans ourselves. Our aim is to have the freshest coffee possible. We want to be delivering the freshest and the best product we can, which I think sets us apart from other stores,” Chilton said.
The owners of aLatté Cafe, Melissa & Neil Sanders, opened the business 13 years ago and wanted the foundation of their business to revolve around coffee and community. “We want a place where people can come and congregate together. We have lots of big open tables and couches. It goes back to the idea of wanting to feel like you’re in someone’s house, like a friend’s house […] The community of the store is very central to our aesthetic,” said Chilton. The owner’s favorite animal is giraffes that are decorated throughout the cafe. Some of the customers brought stuffed animal giraffes as gifts to the owner that are placed as decorations for aLatté Cafe.
aLatté Cafe shows its commitment to the local community by their acts of kindness to those in the downtown Norfolk area, especially The Governor’s School for the Arts, and The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter (CHKD). “We have a relationship with The Governor’s School for the Arts. Every year we give out a scholarship to six students by fundraising money throughout the year, so that we can support them,” Chilton said. aLatté Cafe also has a great relationship with CHKD by showing their support to the healthcare community. “It’s about supporting the community and giving back to the community because it’s symbiotic,” Chilton said. “If we can give back to them we’re going to show people how valuable they are and that we support and care about them as they care about us,”
“I hope customers find aLatté Cafe as a place that they can feel comfortable in and accepted. We are a big family-oriented store run by a family. It’s a very community-orientated place. I hope that they found a good go-to place where they feel safe and happy, especially right now. It’s important to have somewhere that you feel physically and emotionally safe,” Chilton said. “This is a good place for that.”
If you want to feel a sense of community love and a taste of the freshest quality coffee, then consider stopping by aLatté Cafe.