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The Coffee House by Chomp Aims to be Solvang’s Community Hangout

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Amber McGlinchey and Emily Petersen opened The Coffee House By Chomp in Solvang, creating a community gathering place for all ages. (Santa Ynez Valley Star photo)

Just after the espresso machines were installed at The Coffee House by Chomp, co-managers Amber McGlinchey and Emily Petersen were busy ensuring the tastes were to their satisfaction, getting the Solvang shop ready to open.

“Being a mom, I really wanted a place where I could take my kids and host fun activities, or sit and take a break while the kids color,” McGlinchey said with a laugh.

Petersen said she wanted a place where people could meet and share ideas or art, so when the opportunity came to open the coffee shop, she was excited.

“We all know there isn’t much that stays open late for youth in the valley, and I want that place to be our shop,” she said.

The Coffee House by Chomp is a play on words as the shop’s physical location is “by Chomp,” meaning Chomp restaurant, which opened several years ago at 1693 Mission Drive and is also owned by Petersen’s dad, Aaron Petersen.

“When the beauty salon left, we had a vacancy for a while and I was really hoping a coffee shop would come in,” Aaron Petersen said. “My daughter kept talking about running her own shop and it felt like the right time to just do it ourselves.”

Aaron Petersen’s good friend and business colleague, Kim Jensen, mentioned that his daughter, McGlinchey, had coffee shop management experience, and the timing fell into place just as the coffee shop at The Book Loft closed recently.

“We are going to start small and simple, and then as we get suggestions and comments from our customers we will start adding in things like grab-and-go sandwiches and salads,” McGlinchey said.

The main purpose is to make great coffee and serve as a hub for the community to host meetings, hang out or study after school.

“We will be offering pastries from Mortensen’s and bread from Baker’s Table and goodies from Pattibakes,” McGlinchey said earlier this month before the shop opened on Nov. 7. “Our beans are from Santa Barbara Roasting Company, and we can’t wait to open.”

The Coffee House is located at 1693 Mission Drive, just behind Design Alternatives at the corner of Mission Drive and Alisal Road.

— Raiza Giorgi is publisher and editor of the Santa Ynez Valley Star. Contact her at [email protected]. This story is republished with permission.

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