Though the name “Zola” originally came from French writer Emile Zola, which represented the type of cuisine that once influenced Café Zola’s menu when it first opened, the cozy Ann Arbor café has evolved over its seventeen years of existence to reflect the family traditions of its owners, Hediye Batu, who is Turkish, and Alan Zakalik, who is Polish. With exposed brick walls and tables that are purposefully placed close together, the restaurant enjoys providing a feeling of community for its customers so it makes absolute sense that more than half of Café Zola’s business comes from regulars who return each breakfast, lunch and dinner for thoughtfully-prepared dishes and an atmosphere that reminds them of home.
Café Zola prides itself on using and serving the best ingredients and products, which makes its pairing with La Colombe a natural fit. We first met with the fine folks of the establishment six months ago when our Chicago sales representative, Corey Palkow, introduced them to our beans. “Coffee and espresso is a very important part of our menu. Though there are many local places to get a cup of coffee or a latte nearby, people come to Zola because they know ours will be the best,” Batu stated.
At Corey’s tasting meeting with Café Zola, assistant to the owners/lead barista Lucia Lagoy said that she was watching him make the “perfect” cappuccino for Zakalik. Lagoy also recently mentioned to us that she used to add cream and sugar to her coffee, but she doesn’t need it with La Colombe “because it’s already very tasty.”
“Not only is the coffee excellent, but Café Zola is also committed to supporting businesses who have the highest standards for not only their product, but also their business ethics and role in the greater community. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that businesses who see beyond the scope of simply making money create better-quality products – no matter how large or small,” declared Lagoy.
Café Zola is proudly serving our Nizza, Corsica and Monte Carlo blends. They make Turkish coffee as well but not with La Colombe. Batu goes back to Istanbul on a regular basis to buy coffee that she grew up with for Turkish coffee brewing and serving with lokum (or Turkish delight), which is “the proper way” to do it. For the complete cultural experience in the morning, we suggest ordering up their Turkish Eggs, consisting of two eggs, oven-baked sunny-side up with sautéed organic spinach and a slice of French feta cheese as well as sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and Mediterranean olives. Batu and Zakalik also just opened an offshoot restaurant called Zola Bistro, which, to their delighted surprise, is VERY busy.
For more info about Café Zola and Zola Bistro, please go here.