The Sidewalk Cafe HTS Charms in Pasadena

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 4:45 am

The Sidewalk Cafe HTS, where the HTS stands for Hens Teeth Square, feels like home. From the art, by local artists on the walls, to the lending library, this cafe offers a true taste of Pasadena.

“From day one, we always wanted to include art,” said co-owner, Kip Rolfe. “We’re all from here, so it’s really important for us to do something for the community.”

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Owners Kip Rolfe, Bernard Parlta, and Ayo Anderson and Chef, Stacey Whitney are the magic behind the community-centered Sidewalk Cafe HTS in Pasadena. Tucked inside the Hens Teeth Square shopping center, this cafe serves up custom roasted coffee, breakfast fare and recently added a line of salads, sandwiches and brunch items. The Sidewalk Cafe HTS began as a coffee cart in Hens Teeth Plaza and, six years ago, moved into its current location.

Rolfe has a background in catering and switched to coffee to appeal to a larger crowd. He began roasting his own beans so that he could accentuate the unique flavors of each bean. The Sidewalk CAfe HTS has a rotating selection of beans from all over the world.

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“Each bean has its own profile and characteristics – for example, you want to taste the fruit in an Ethiopian bean and not dark roast it,” said Rolfe.

In addition to coffee, they serve, what Chef Stacey Whitney describes as “fancy comfort food” and baked goods. Whitney was first introduced to cooking by her grandmother and mother and decided to pursue cooking after a period of soul-searching in 2004.

“[Cooking] is something I’ve always liked to do,” said Whitney. “But how does that serve a purpose for the betterment of humanity?”

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Whitney went to school for pastry and dessert training but has bigger dreams than just making people’s days with baked goods. She plans to re-start the nonprofit she founded, Spoonful of Honey Job Security and Training Initiative, in the community. This program will offer culinary training to disadvantaged women and partner with local restaurants so that the students can have practice externships and eventually, use their skills to get jobs. She plans to add a gardening component to this program as well, to stress the importance of fresh, healthy food.

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In the meantime, Whitney teaches cooking classes at the Sidewalk Cafe HTS, which are open to the public. Classes range from cake decorating to Ethiopian food and cover a variety of tastes and techniques.

“I like cooking everything and experimenting,” she said. “The easiest way to build a relationship with people is through food.”

Chef Whitney explains that many of her recipes come from friends or people she met while working on culinary externships in different parts of the country. She hopes to add an Indian cooking class to her roster as well.

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Visit the Sidewalk Cafe for coffee and light fare like salads served in jars, baked goods, parfaits and updated brunch classics like sweet potato hash, omelets and cinnamon rolls. Stop by for the food, stay for the charming atmosphere and maybe even exchange a book or two.

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The Sidewalk Cafe HTS is located at 2057 North Los Robles Avenue in Hens Teeth Plaza. Call (626) 797-9255 or visit sidewalkcafehts.com.

 

 

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