Here’s some perspective: Coffee is thought to have first been cultivated by Arabs in the 14th century. That makes the recent wait for a coffee cart to open at the Petaluma Mail Depot a blink of the eye. And, yes, for most of us in need of our morning fix, a blink still isn’t fast enough.
Fortunately, for those jonesing for a jolt of joe, Milt’s Coffee has opened at the popular spot, replacing the Bus Stop Coffee cart and picking up where serial restauranteur Peter Markey left off before selling his most recent foray into caffeine deliver systems to local entrepreneur Sarah Gorman.
“Peter couldn’t be here as much as he wanted to,” says Gorman, who soft-launched Milt’s Coffee during last week’s Butter and Eggs Day Parade. “He couldn’t really put his heart here. He has two other gigs going and it needs more love than he had to give it.”
Gorman’s launch bodes well for the venture, which is housed in a quaint A-frame roofed shed adjacent to the Mail Depot.
“It’s really fun to have something to put your, put your heart into,” says Gorman who has a background as a pastry chef and brings her estimable baking skills to the coffee biz in the form of scones and other delights. At her side is the ever-charming barista Nikki Barron, whom Gorman describes as her “rock.”
A Petaluma Coffee Spot by Any other Name
What’s in a name? That which we call a mocha by any other name would taste as sweet – right?
At one point, Milt’s Coffee was going to be called the G-Spot, thanks to Gorman’s husband John Gorman.
“John suggested ‘The G-Spot’ because my middle name is Grace, my maiden name was Goodrow and I married a Gorman,” she laughs. “But I didn’t think The G-Spot was right.”
Instead, Gorman reflected on her “first coffee drinking buddy” when she was a seven-year-old – her dad, Milt.
“We’d sit at the table together on Saturday mornings, and I’d have a little bit of coffee and a lot of milk and a lot of sugar – he drank it black with sugar – and he could make a bell sound with the spoon in his cup,” she recalls. “He was a telephone man in Niagara Falls, New York, he had coffee shops all over town where everyone knew him. He was the kinda guy that could drink a whole pot of coffee and go to sleep, you know.”
Milt, who passed 23 years ago, was also something of a coffee aficionado and ordered specialty beans through mail-order back in the ’70s “before it was cool.”
“He hand ground them himself, before anyone even knew what that was. People were drinking Chock Full o’ Nuts and Folgers, and he was grinding his own beans,” says Gorman.
“He would have loved it,” says Gorman of what her father might have thought of Milt’s Coffee. “ I mean, he was the kind of guy that would rather eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the couch than go out for a meal – but he definitely appreciated coffee availability.”
Milt’s Coffee is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., located at 40 4th Street, Petaluma.