Editor’s note: The Coffee Perch owners still own the lease on the property and have obtained a malt and wine license for that location… a new business to open later in the summer!
The Coffee Perch opened on Aug. 25, 2012, in downtown Walpole, Mass., with a percolating presence of coffeehouse-meets-community-gathering-place.
Early morning foot traffic must have hit an all-time high in the downtown as people from the north, west, east and south of this friendly small town southwest of Boston all came together for a cup of morning brew or tea (they make an amazing hot chocolate, too!), as well as muffins and other baked goods. The conversation flowed as much as the coffee, whether at an inside table or comfy sofa chair, or an outside seat overlooking the beautiful Walpole town common. Mark and Maura McAuliffe — owners of the wildly popular Raven’s Nest Irish pub a few doors down (as well as The Mad Raven in Waltham, Mass.) — looked joyously overwhelmed by the turnout, as did a well-chosen friendly and efficient staff. For starters, the blends of coffee supplied from a Rhode Island roaster and fresh muffins being brought in on a huge tray seemed to be a big hit with those stopping into the Coffee Perch. The Coffee Perch menu, in addition to the aforementioned, includes wraps, homemade soups, salads, bagels, espresso drinks, croissants and scones.
Walpole residents’ desire for a downtown coffee shop — based on a recent town survey asking what businesses they wanted to see downtown — indeed arrived with a morning jolt and an aim to further “caffeinate” a growing town center. It looks like Walpole residents got more than a coffee shop, however. The McAuliffes knew that opening a coffeehouse had to be more than just booths, tables and a “What do you want honey?” 1950s business model. As examples, the red and gold wall colors, granite counter top ordering station, colorful ambient lighting, modern light floor tile, local artist’s art work lining the wall designated for a revolving art gallery, and free WiFi bring the visitor into an appealing 21st century coffeehouse look and feel. In reference to the name of the coffeehouse, there’s also a giant branch hanging from the ceiling that the McAuliffe’s brought in from their backyard.
While modern design can sometimes feel cold and sterile, that’s not the case at The Coffee Perch. The welcoming feel of the place is that timeless element successful coffeehouses create for a “whole bean” approach instead of the instant ground version. The mix of caring owners and an interested clientele — such as the case it appears at The Coffee Perch — serve as the catalysts. For any downtown, this type of community-based business model is an important step that goes beyond the question: “How can we bring people downtown?” Rather, it asks “How can we bring people together downtown?” The Coffee Perch clearly embraces the latter question and, at this very early stage of this business, the local people absolutely love it.
The Coffee Perch is located at 1006 Main St., Walpole, MA. Tel. (508) 734-5746. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.