Kai’s Koffee offers new food options

Published 4:40 pm Friday, June 19, 2015

Kai Smith, center, with some of the smiling faces you might find serving you new lunch options at Kai’s Koffee in Pelham. (Contributed)

Kai Smith, center, with some of the smiling faces you might find serving you new lunch options at Kai’s Koffee in Pelham. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

PELHAM—Kai’s Koffee launched a new menu with additional food options June 18, featuring a new flavor of chicken salad, a Panini, a chipotle crocket and a smoked tuna fish salad.

“A lot of our customers came in and said they would like to have something to eat at lunch time,” said owner Kai Smith.  “More importantly, I think, we wanted to add some healthier options.”

Smith described Kai’s Koffee’s location, 2953 Pelham Parkway, as a food desert of sorts. She said there aren’t many places to grab a healthy meal in a 30-minute window. The shop already made the decision to start selling vegan and sugar-free muffins a few months ago, and the response was great.

To her, it just made sense to add some made-from-scratch items to the menu.

“I thought, ‘What do we not have here?’” Smith said. “(I want) something light and healthy at lunch, something you can feel good after with your day and you don’t feel like you are going to sleep.”

The options took a little from her and her employees as well as suggestions she’d heard from customers. The smoked tuna fish salad was one of her manager’s recipes, and Smith said the chipotle crocket was something she frequently made for her kids at her own house.

She recently hired a new caterer to make the chicken salad wraps. When Smith decided she wanted to try out a bacon ranch chicken salad, she gave the catering job to the best representation of her recipe.  Smith said the Panini was something customers had been wanting for a while.

“WE wanted to have items that people could come in morning to get breakfast and lunch all at once,” Smith said. She’s got people walking in at 7 a.m. to pick up coffee, a scone and a chicken salad wrap to save for later.

She’s had a great response to the new menu, even after only one day.

“We launched it officially yesterday,” Smith said.  “We had to bring in a second person for the lunch shift alone because we have had such a great response. We’re excited.”

Her goal is to continue growing little by little, offering more and more for her customers. Last month, she started hosting live music on select Saturday mornings from 9-11 a.m., and the schedule can be found on Kai’s Koffee’s Facebook page. Smith said wants to bring a Café Du Monde kind of feel to Pelham.

“We are trying to slowly provide more things for the community,” Smith said. “We’re hoping our next step will be a coffee delivery service.”