Organic, local, and family-friendly: Café Zola officially opens in Pomegranate Books

By Miriam Himes, Opinion Editor

Pomegranate Books hosted a grand opening of their new in-house coffee shop, Café Zola, this past weekend. While the coffee shop has been open for roughly a month, the co-owners of the café, Kathleen Jewell and Manol Georgieff, celebrated the institution of the new coffee shop on Friday with an afternoon tea sampling, free beer and live music in the evening.

The family hosted an English themed tea  from 11 am to 2 pm consisted of free samplings from the variety of organic teas the café has as well as free traditional snacks such as cucumber sandwiches. Georgieff and Jewell also used this time to host a small competition for naming their new root tea – a dandelion, chicory, caron, fennel, and sarsaparilla based tea that has a “sweet, refreshing and velvety flavor”.

Despite the fact that this tea lacks a name as interesting and unique as its flavor, it proved to be the most popular tea of the day. Customers can get their tea by the ounce, by the cup, served hot with steamed milk, or served chilled with ice. Their variety of options and methods of serving beverages allows all types of tea consumers to enjoy the café.

In an interview, Georgieff mentioned that they do their best to sell their tea for reasonable prices and, in actuality, sell loose leaf tea quite inexpensively in comparison to other sellers in the area. Georgieff said that he wants to continue hosting tea samplings once a month in order allow customers to try their different varieties as well as to increase customer flow in the shop.

Friday evening’s live music event showcased a cellist from the Durham Orchestra and a local guitarist from the UNCW student body, Griffin Limerick. The cellist brought a classical and jazzy feel to the evening while Limerick, who composed and played his own music, offered a folk and laid back feel to warm the café.   Limerick has composed his own album, “Life in Wilmington”.

Georgieff said he was pleased with the turnout they had that night, with over 80 people circulating in and out the shop. He hopes to continue to attract new customers by keeping the shop fresh and constantly updating and renovating the menu with new brews and creative baked delights from caterers like Catering Thyme, a local catering company.

Georgieff said he knows that “high quality products bring in a lot of people” and attempts to serve his customers with the finest products.

In other week or so, the café hopes to serve freshly squeezed juice and sample a new ginger mate cold iced tea that energizes and refreshes the consumer. Both the bookstore and the café offer student discounts upon inquiry and have an area for people who want to work or drink coffee and dine in.

Ultimately, the co-owners were pleased with the success of the event and look forward to future growth.