Building the Valley: Upper Burrell’s New 3740 Cafe Offers a Combination of Coffee and Community

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It’s a family affair at 3740 Cafe in Upper Burrell.

Located along the winding, rural road of Milligantown, 3740 Cafe seems to be in the middle of nowhere. It’s anything but.

Mike and Christy Albert strategically chose the one-story building at 3740 Milligantown Road because it is less than two miles from Penn State New Kensington and Westmoreland Industrial Park.

The cafe’s location is also strategic for the family of four. Mike and Christy Albert grew up in nearby New Kensington, meeting when they were 8 years old. They now live in Winfield, Butler County, and have been married for 24 years.

“We always wanted to open a business,” said 43-year-old Christy Albert. “Since we grew up here, we thought, ‘Why don’t we go back to where we came from,'” she said.

There was another reason the couple wanted to work in the area: their two children, Kane, 22, and Ally, 20, are students at Penn State New Kensington.

The café is a family business in the truest sense of the word. The four members of the family adhere to a rotation of shifts to maintain the workshop staff. Each brings a particular talent to the company.

Alberts elders offer business acumen and local knowledge. Mike Albert gutted the building and secured local rough pine to convert into custom countertops in addition to other work.

The Albert children bring their coffee know-how to the company.

Kane knows the intricacies of brewing and the technical details of the coffee-making process.

The compressed goodness of Italy’s specialty espresso maker is added to a range of coffee drinks, which includes up to 34 flavors, in coffee.

Ally knows the nuances of the flavor assortment and knows that many customers will want a chocolate raspberry latte – the best seller. The smoothies are also popular with customers, she said.

Another major reason for choosing Upper Burrell as their place of business was to give back to the community by providing a clean, quiet space with local produce and Wi-Fi, the couple said.

“Coffee is for the community, and it’s also for us. We are “people of people”, said Mike Albert.

Fresh baked goods are provided by Mazziotti Bakery in Lower Burrell. The coffee, with varieties from around the world, is roasted by Allegheny Coffee and Tea Exchange in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

“We love the people here and being part of this community,” said Mike Albert.

Ally observed that she would never have known the people who are regulars at the store if she didn’t work there.

Locals visit the store daily, which gives the family a sense of purpose in the community, they said.

The store opened in late January and customers are flocking to the new community center. Students and workers make up the bulk of coffee lovers.

The cafe offers student and veteran discounts. First responders get their coffee for free.

The family plans to expand the menu, parking lot and back patio this summer.

Mary Ann Thomas is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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