By Elena Kadvany
Local resident steps in to keep Los Altos' Red Berry Coffee Bar openUploaded: Nov 6, 2020
When the Los Altos community heard that Red Berry Coffee Bar would be closing in August, customers rallied to keep the much-loved cafe alive.
Their efforts resulted in Stacy Savides Sullivan, Los Altos resident and owner of Los Altos candy store Sweet Shop, taking over the business. Red Berry's original owner, Jeff Hanson, will be staying on through the end of the year to help with the transition.
Customers drink coffee at Red Berry Coffee Bar's new parklet in downtown Los Altos. Photo via Red Berry Coffee Bar's Facebook.
Hanson opened Red Berry at 145 Main St. in 2014, bringing a multi-roaster coffee concept to downtown Los Altos. This summer, he said his lease was close to expiring and the financial losses of the pandemic made it difficult to renew.
"We were 10 days away from possibly shutting down the shop and liquidating but I had a bunch of customers who really, really love the place," he said.
They found Sullivan, who has spent many hours drinking coffee with friends and family at Red Berry and working in the cafe's upstairs space so much it became like a second office.
"We love Red Berry," Sullivan said. "We really do want to keep the essence of it."
A view of Red Berry Coffee Bar from the Los Altos cafe's second floor, pre-pandemic. Photo via Yelp.
Things will mostly look the same at Red Berry, with some updates. The current employees will stay on, Sullivan said, and continue to serve the same coffee drinks and food, though she wants to add savory pastries, more specials and possible collaborations with Sweet Shop. She plans to add online ordering and make the cafe's hours more consistent. The cafe is operating outdoors only right now, with a new parklet, but she looks forward to safely reopening inside, which has been a gathering space for many in the community.
"I really enjoy anything I can do to build community and connection, fun and people getting together. This has always been one of those places -- it's a social, interactive cafe," Sullivan said.
Like at Sweet Shop, Sullivan will donate the cafe's proceeds to local schools or educational programs.
Sullivan is asking the community to give feedback on any improvements or additions they'd like to see at Red Berry by emailing [email protected]