Coffee and creativity
New Manchester café offers art & music
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a coffeehouse? Most people would describe it as a gathering place where coffee-lovers and artists can share their talents and ideas. Lazy Nick’s Coffee House and Bakery in Manchester is such a place.
Owners Melinda and Nick Sergi have created a spot that fosters good conversation and entertainment, and they offer delicious beverages and baked treats.
Fans of the former Anything Scrumptious in Goffstown may recognize Melinda, who was the owner and baker there before the bakery closed due to a death in the family. After a few years of management work, she is now back to baking in the Lazy Nick’s kitchen. She said of her husband, Nick, and herself, “We were both tired of working for someone else. This is what we want. This is our passion.”
The Sergis traveled on their Harley Davidson motorcycle to a number of small New England coffeehouses with bakeries in the year and a half before they opened Lazy Nick’s. They wanted to see how best to create a coffeehouse environment. What they settled on was a place where artists can perform or display their work and customers can enjoy one of Melinda’s baked treats with a great cup of coffee.
The coffeehouse is located in the Sergis’ neighborhood and is a true family affair. Daughter Sheena Aiken uses her culinary degree to help Melinda in the kitchen, and daughter Monica Quenneville makes deliveries and runs errands. Late in the afternoon two-year-old granddaughter Olivia joins the family in the shop. Nick works full-time at another job for now, but he helps out in the early mornings and late afternoons, and hopes to soon be full-time at the coffeehouse.
The bakery cases are filled with delicious treats created from family recipes — cookies, Danish, whoopee pies, muffins, scones, brownies and cakes. The cannolis are made to order, which prevents sogginess, with a ricotta-mascarpone mixture and dipped in either chocolate chips or chopped walnuts. And the spinach pita sells as fast as it is made.
“Nobody can figure out what’s in the spinach pita and I won’t tell,” Melinda said. “I grew up with a mother who made everything from scratch, so I did, too. I can’t go into a supermarket and buy a cake.”
The shop also sells breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and breads. Melinda will create special-occasion cakes and cupcakes to order. She also has more than 2,000 molds to make chocolate pops and candies for most events. She can put together gift baskets and has some ready made for some of the more popular holidays and occasions.
The coffee drinks — lattes, cappuccinos and espressos — are made with Carpe Diem coffee, with a syrup selection to create just about any flavor. Melinda said two popular ones were the mocha-and-pomegranate latte and the Fluffernutter latte (toasted marshmallow and peanut butter). Tea is also available, as are smoothies in more than 30 varieties.
Alongside the delicious baked goods and beverages, artistic endeavors are a focus. The walls display the work of local artists. The second and fourth Tuesday of every month features poetry readings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the first and third Thursdays feature artist sessions with local musicians. Music is also featured one Saturday night each month. (Check the Web site for an up-to-date schedule.) The Sergis work with Do Something Different, a company that helps places like Lazy Nick’s set up the artist events and create a coffeehouse environment.
New customers, plus some old Goffstown customers, have discovered Melinda’s baked goods with a good cup of coffee. She said, “I love baking. This is not a chore. We love it. When you have a passion for it you love coming in each morning.”