LITCHFIELD — Christine Harding, who is co-owner with Mark Abbott of the new coffeehouse in Litchfield with the quirky name Toast & Co., recently shared her personal journey during a very brief lull in business behind the counter.
She once ran an ice-cream truck in Wingdale, New York with the help of a blended family of five boys, and the addition of milkshakes on the menu, which she claims “are so thick the straw stands up,” are an inspired choice from that experience.
After her husband died in 2013, she partnered with Mark Abbott, owner of Pinnacle Carpentry, a local business that took on the task of renovating the former jewelry store with the help of his own sons. Using cherrywood from downed trees in White Memorial property, the team created a dose of rustic charm for the interior and, utilizing red oak fallen in their own Litchfield backyard, an expansive live-edge counter that offers a vibe of bar seating facing the front window.
In addition to specialty coffee and chai drinks, some of the more unexpected menu items are avocado toast, smoothie bowls that are very thick with toppings, fresh-made pastries, and a brunch/lunch menu that includes a fresh mozzarella, pesto and tomato grill and soups du jour.
One of the best aspects of the location, Christine Harding said, is that students from Litchfield High School can walk there safely, and on a recent weekday morning, the shop was filled with chattering teenagers, waiting in line to grab a Cappuccino and a cinnamon stick or one of the honey buns.
Two young mothers, evidently on a play-date with their babies, sat at one of tables and a group of older residents filled the booth in the back.
Toast & Co. is located at 18 Commons Drive in Litchfield, facing West Street (Route 202) in the space formerly occupied by Robertson’s Jewelers. They are open Monday to Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The shop can be contacted by email at Christine@toastandco.com and phone at 850-567-0301. Visit www.toastandco.com/ for more information.