BURNT HILLS — You can never have too many locally owned coffee shops — especially ones as charming and welcoming as Cupola Coffee.
Cupola Coffee and Crepes is nestled in the center of a multitenant building at the corner of Kingsley Road and Route 50. There’s parking around the back for all the small businesses.
It’s cozy as can be, and with the light streaming in the front picture windows on a sunny winter day, cheerful as well. The counter takes up most of the right wall, with small, unmatched tables and chairs along the other and in the rear.
Owner Cindy Turgeon was part of the Burnt Hills community long before she opened the shop in June of 2021. Her kids attended the local schools and she taught art at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School for 25 years.
These days, Turgeon is still a part of the local arts community as well, staging shows by local artists in the coffee shop. The very first show featured works of students at the high school.
“I’ve always wanted to own a place like this,” Turgeon said recently. She modeled her shop after charming bistros and restaurants she saw in Europe.
The attractively arranged baked goods and gifts for sale will capture your attention as soon as you walk in. Cupola Coffee has small gifts and appealing, assembled wrapped baskets you just want to take home.
There’s local art for sale on the white walls, and the most impressively decorated cookies for sale made by a local wizard. My niece Ann Marie and I are bakers, and we were blown away by the works of art that are almost too pretty to eat.
Cupola Coffee is all about, well, coffee, so the first menus you come upon are boards listing hot and cold drinks. They’re currently featuring peppermint, gingerbread, cinnamon bun and other seasonal lattes.
“Here’s a menu,” said Ann Marie helpfully. The food menu is on a chalkboard behind the counter but it’s always nice to have one to hold in your hand. Look for laminated menus in a basket on the wall near the entrance. Drinks are on the back.
It took me a minute to figure out the menu. There’s sweet and savory options, for breakfast and lunch, and they’re all incorporated into crepes — freshly made crepes.
“They’re such a great, versatile food you can make quickly and they can be sweet or savory,” said Turgeon. “They’re always fresh and you can watch them being made.”
And crepes make a coffee shop a little more interesting.
Sweet crepes come filled with fruit and Nutella ($7.95); there are cheesecake crepes ($8.95); and fig and Marscapone or brie ($9.25). Savory crepes hold bacon and eggs ($9.95); ham and Swiss ($8.50); and grilled cheese ($6.95), among others.
Gluten-free batter is available for a dollar more.
Cupola Coffee sells scones, biscuits, cookies, muffins, brownies — anything that would go with a cup of coffee, really. On Saturdays there are cinnamon buns.
Ann Marie put in our order, and we took a table near the big sunny window with the Cupola Coffee owl logo and settled in. Her cold-brew coffee ($5.35 for 24-ounce, a bit more for mocha and peppermint) was ready in a jiffy.
“It’s very good cold-brew,” she said. “The chocolate syrup is dissolved,” she said. “It seems all brewed together, which makes a better cup,” she added.
Our crepes were set on the end of the counter for pickup in just a few minutes. I had the breakfast crepe ($9.95), filled with soft scrambled eggs, bacon and melted cheddar. The impossibly thin yet sturdy crepes are crispy at the edges, and just the littlest bit sweet. The eggs were seasoned with black pepper and the bacon was cooked just right.
It looks like something you want to hold in your hand, but it’s best eaten with knife and fork.
Ann Marie had the Upstate Farmer ($9.95) with turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese and thinly sliced apple.
“The sauce makes it,” she said, passing over a taste on her fork. It’s mayonnaise with a little honey dijon, we decided. “The apple is so good,” she said, “it adds a nice crunch in the middle.”
She turned her crepe around so I could see the generous amount of filling and I hefted the plate. It was heavy.
A small customer at a nearby table enjoyed a colorful Itty Bitty sprinkle crepe, with some peanut butter on the side. It was adorable, and eaten with gusto.
The shop is child-friendly, with markers and coloring sheets for small people. Their artwork is displayed, too, on the restroom door.
Cupola Coffee came by its name when Turgeon was looking at another space for her business, one with a cupola. It was too late to change; paperwork had been filed, but — serendipity — “Cupola means ‘little cup,’ ” said Turgeon. “And cupolas are everywhere in Burnt Hills.”
It seemed just right.
Turgeon is happy with her business and looking to expand into the space next door.
“It’s just been the most wonderful experience,” she said, crediting her customers for her success. She opened her door, she said, and they just came in.
I brought home a blueberry lemon scone ($3.60) for husband Eric and shared it with him the next day. It was still light, moist and fresh, with a tang of lemon in the frosting.
“It would be nice with some clotted cream,” said Eric. “It’s good.”
Cupola Coffee is a warm, welcoming space with a wide variety of hot drinks and delicious, freshly made food.
Business was steady during our late-morning visit and about half the tables were filled. When one party left, another replaced it. It proved Turgeon’s point: The door’s open and they’re coming in.
You should join them.
Caroline Lee is a freelance writer who lives in Troy. Reach her at [email protected]
Cupola Coffee and Crepes
WHERE: 227 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills; (518) 280-0079
WHEN: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
HOW MUCH: $33.01 for food, before tax and tip
MORE INFO: All major credit cards, Apple Pay. Parking in rear. Not ADA compliant; there is one step up into the restaurant.