A new coffee shop and performance house is open in Point Richmond. Kaleidoscope Coffee is just a little over a month old and already promises to offer some of the best coffee and live entertainment in the city. The only thing missing is the dedicated group of regulars who will ensure the long-term success of the new establishment.
“I’m really excited to be here,” explains owner Cassie Cushing. “I got into coffee because of the way it brings people together, and Point Richmond has a really engaging sense of community. That’s what I’ve been looking for since day one.”
Cushing has been in the coffee business in different roles for over ten years, and she’s had the goal to open a coffee shop for nearly as long. About four years ago, Cushing explains, she became interested in storytelling and its capacity to entertain and share experiences, and she decided to marry her two passions.
Kaleidoscope, which Cushing describes as a storytelling coffee shop, is the manifestation of her goals.
Starting in the new year, there will be two regular open mic nights a week —a traditional one for songs and poetry, and another solely dedicated to storytelling. Myths, personal stories, and fairy tales are all fair game at this unique open mic.
Looking around the space of Kaleidoscope, it’s clear that Cushing planned her coffee shop carefully.
The space is huge, and feels at once like a coffee shop and a living room. There is a large seating area with tables and benches, and further back is a comfortable Victorian-style couch, large trunk, and an assortment of eclectic furniture arranged next to rows of bookshelves of a free lending library. It looks well-designed without feeling contrived or stuffy. As someone who works out of a lot of cafes, it’s by far the most comfortable spot in Richmond.
Even better, the coffee and food at Kaleidoscope are of the highest quality. Cushing sources the coffee —along with ice cream, teas, and ingredients for their food —from local businesses. The beans come from Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. Snacks from Richmond-local Quiche and Carry are available to purchase, along with ice cream from Tara’s Organic Ice Cream from Berkeley.
“Profit margins are a thing we have to consider, of course,” Cushing explains of the higher price tag for the locally-sourced, often organic treats, “but I’m not going to serve food that isn’t local or doesn’t taste good just because it’s less expensive. For all offerings we are trying to work with small businesses local to the Bay Area.”
Kaleidoscope offers an impressive display from beginning to end. From the space itself, to the freshly-roasted coffee that is often ground for each order to ensure the highest quality of aromatic flavors, there’s a lot to take in.
With all of what’s available at the new coffeehouse, I was surprised to find it as empty as it was on a recent morning. The Starbucks down the street was abuzz with locals popping in and out for a quick coffee. Maybe they hadn’t yet gotten the memo that there’s a better, local option right down the road. Hopefully they’ll catch on soon and work to support this new coffeehouse to ensure it sticks around.
Kaleidoscope is hosting a grand opening Saturday, December 5, from 6 am to 11 pm. Stop by for dollar glasses of champagne, live music, and tasty coffee.
109 Park Place, Point Richmond
Monday - Thursday: 6 am to 5 pm
Friday: 6 am to 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am to 11 pm
View their website here.
Photos courtesy Yelena Prusakova