RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Joe and Laura Ancona visited more than 50 cafés during their honeymoon in Italy, doing research for their new Ridgefield coffee shop.
But Laura wanted the Tusk & Cup in Branchville to stand out. If we were going to open a coffee shop, we wanted it to be a different experience. We wanted to really differentiate our coffee and the experience our customers would have, she said.
To start, they looked for local ingredients. They get all their coffee from Redding Roasters , a Bethel-based company that helped them to create their house blend and the roast for their espresso.
It was all about the coffee for the Anconas. Laura admitted to carrying around a book titled Coffee Life during their Italian honeymoon.
They wanted to serve the highest quality coffee that they could and in every possible way from the common latte to the uncommon marocchino, a layered espresso drink with Nutella, cocoa powder and milk foam.
Beyond the coffee, the couple wanted to ensure that their customers felt at home in a living room complete with a fireplace and couches.
We really wanted to create a destination, Laura said of the inside seating area. They wanted to keep it simple and open. She designed the space to be inviting, Joe said. From the clean lines of the tables to the tan color of the walls, the idea was to make people comfortable.
The wide walls also gave them an opportunity to showcase local artists, which is a way of giving back to the community and help build up the Branchville area, Joe said.
The building on Ethan Allen Highway that houses the Tusk & Cup has been in the Ancona family since Joes grandfather emigrated from Sicily. The shop opens every day at 6 a.m. The closing hours differ throughout the week.