Parakeet Café held their soft opening over Halloween weekend, only a few weeks after debuting Parakeet Juicery (formerly Juice Crafters). Coronado bid farewell to the beloved Cafe 1134 in March, a time when many would be apprehensive about starting a new business. Owners Carol and Jonathan Goldwasser, however, took the risk. Carol shares, “We always believe if there is an opportunity you have to grab it. The space is so different and so unique from others we had seen, it just felt right. The upstairs seating and the back patio we love. We follow our hearts and we make crazy decisions based on how we feel.”
The Process and Design
On the challenge of reopening Parakeet Juicery and adding Parakeet Café simultaneously, Carol remarks, “Emotionally it was a lot! But, we have an amazing team and everything came together.” As the fourth Parakeet Café in San Diego, a lot has been learned over the years. Carol shares that the menu has grown and is always evolving. “We started with coffee and some food items, but people really loved our food so we expanded. We try to bring more things that the customers want. There are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free, and keto options. Along with items people want to indulge in. We want to celebrate nourishing the body. Everything on the menu is good, it wouldn’t be on there if we didn’t like it.”
The Parakeet Café social media customer images with tags has surprised Carol. She explains that the audience posts are all organic. “We love seeing people share their stories!” The bright and fun colors in the café coupled with the presentation of the menu items can be found across all Parakeet Café locations. Each location has the same fun vibe, but with a twist. Carol explains that each location has the custom made parakeet wallpaper, but with a different color focus. For Coronado, it’s purple, while customers will find green at the La Jolla location. “We want to be consistent, but allow for some variance between locations. We want to create an environment that is uplifting and appealing.”
Health Focus and Recommendations
Along with the same outlook as the Parakeet Juicery, quality and health is of the utmost importance. Carol boasts that they now roast their own coffee, “quality is important to us. We have always wanted to roast our own beans and now we are able to. This allows us to be very careful and work with small, non GMO, organic, family owned farms. We care about the whole chain, and how they treat their workers.” Carol struggles to narrow down her favorite drink items on the menu, finally recommending the Turmeric Latte and Mushroom Cacao Chai. For her top meal items she is quick to recommend the Avocado Toast for breakfast, but also highlights the Organic Greens Scrambled Eggs. A go to option for a larger food portion is the Grilled Vegetable Bowl, which Carol loves for the variety.
For my own recommendation, I enjoyed an iced mocha. It was not overly chocolatey and did feel lighter than other coffee shops. My mom (aka Mely’s babysitter while I interviewed Carol) enjoyed a hot vanilla latte. Carol shared that they don’t use generic syrup pumps for flavor and instead have house made, all-natural flavors. New customer Alex tries the namesake Parakeet Bowl and remarks, “I like the texture mixed with tangy, bitter, and sweet. It is a great vegan option!”
To Coronado, Carol says, “we love being in Coronado! We are so grateful for the warm welcome and love how family oriented it is.” Stop by the café and say hello to the Parakeet Café team, OR utilize the Parakeet Café app! The app has options to order ahead and pick up, as well as a delivery feature. Of the decision to add delivery, Carol explains, “we care about our customers and many want to eat from our menu often since it is healthy and clean.”
Parakeet Café fully opens Wednesday, November 4th at 1134 Orange Avenue.