Matt Schodorf and wife Anya hope to open Café De Leche in Highland Park by mid-October, pending final inspections by the city. Matt said their inspiration was simple: “Highland Park doesn’t have a proper coffee shop. I’ve lived there for 8 years, and we have to drive to Eagle Rock to get coffee.”
Café de Leche will occupy the northwest corner of the Nogueira Building (1966), which shares the same block as The York and Johnny’s. The Schodorfs have transformed the former home of M.A.N. Insurance Agency into what Matt calls a “modern Central American feel, which fits into our neighborhood, which is primarily working-class Latino.” David Freeland of nearby Freeland Design created a space that Matt described as “modern but warm and inviting. The color palette leans toward the tropical [with a vibrant green coffee bar and dark wood.] The décor is definitely not Starbucks.”
Anya is originally from Nicaragua, and her heritage is reflected in the name, a Central American beverage that Matt described as “sweetened milk with a little bit of coffee.” The couple will make that signature drink, along with pinolio, a Central American juice made from corn and cacao.
Matt said, “We want to focus on really excellent coffees and teas.” They’ll offer single-origin coffees on the Chemex and host tasting classes every couple weeks.
The hummingbird logo is courtesy of Mount Washington artist Cole Gerst. “We really like the fact that both our designers are local and represent the Eastside,” says Matt. “We want to be part of the climate of Highland Park, as opposed to coming in from the outside and setting up shop.”