If you are sick of standing in Starbucks’ long lines and eating its pre-made food, you should check out the cafes in Chestnut Hill on Germantown Avenue. They are all mom-and-pop shops and unique in their own ways.
Pennsylvania General Store
Michael and Julie Holahan, owners of the Pennsylvania General Store (above), also own the Pennsylvania General Store in the Reading Terminal Market. The café in Chestnut Hill offers all sorts of baked goods that are made fresh every morning. They sell assortments of Asher’s Chocolates, which is the oldest chocolate company in Philadelphia. According to the general manager, Nora Spillane, the chocolate is what keeps the customers coming back. The Pennsylvania General Store likes to keep things local, so it only sells products that are made or designed in Pennsylvania.
Chestnut Hill Coffee Co.
Seattle native John Hornall and his friend opened The Chestnut Hill Coffee Co. 12 years ago in hopes of bringing something different to the area.
Bredenbeck’s Bakery is not your ordinary café. Not only do they offer coffee and a variety of baked goods, but they also offer ice cream. Popular items include rum rings and butter cakes.
Night Kitchen Bakery
Amy Edelman opened the Night Kitchen Bakery 16 years ago, and her husband joined the staff two years later. The store is known for its mocha mousse cake and the coffee ice cubes in its iced coffee. Everything is made from scratch, and the owners are firm believers in using real butter instead of shortening. The bakery also offers homemade pizza, paninis and soups for a quick on-the-go lunch.
When Cake owner Gary Heck wanted to expand his store, he moved the location into a conservatory where he made a point of keeping the same atmosphere. The café and bakery now offers dinner on some nights and hosts private events.
– Text and images by Delia Franchi and Marie Sechuk