Squawk Cafe opens in Spring Township credit union


A quick breakfast or lunch doesn’t have to be boring or consist of processed foods and ingredients.

This is the basic principle behind Squawk Cafea new quick service restaurant located inside the Riverfront Federal Credit Union Building at the intersection of Broadcasting Road and Keizer Boulevard in Spring Township.

But while the restaurant itself is brand new, having officially launched on Friday, the concept and the friendly faces inside will likely sound familiar to many brunchers in the Berks County area.

The Squawk Café is introduced to diners by Chef Owner Patrick Daley, Barista Manager Joelle Patrick and the rest of their culinary team.

“A big part of my goal coming here is that I wanted to do a pretty good model of transportation,” Daley said, adding that the dining room at Squawk Café seats 24 people. .

“I have a fairly direct and simple style of cooking. It’s really about highlighting the ingredient, putting it forward, letting it shine through.

The new restaurant is not associated with the Squawk Cafe at B2 Bistro + Bar or any other establishment in West Reading.

Location, location, location

In the dining room of the Squawk Cafe in Spring Township. (Andrew Kulp – Reading Eagle)

While the idea of ​​a restaurant sharing space with a financial institution may seem unconventional, the setting makes perfect sense for the quick-service model adopted by Squawk Café.

The building is surrounded by businesses and professional services whose workers and customers may be looking for quality, nutritious meals, but often require fast service.

“There’s a void in the industry,” Daley said, noting that Squawk Café primarily sources its ingredients from local growers. “A lot of quick service places can’t maintain quality, whether it’s the quality of the ingredients or the quality of the preparation.”

Daley was also convinced by the opportunity to design and build his kitchen from scratch.

Yet it’s Joelle – described as an expert on the facade – who sets the tone at Squawk Café when customers enter.

The experienced barista and her team warmly welcome guests to the Squawk Café counter, their personalities giving the restaurant its own distinct identity.

“Just being able to walk into a place and feel instantly welcome is a great thing,” Joelle said. “I love human beings. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable with them and people being vulnerable to you is such a beautiful thing.

What’s on the menu at Squawk Café?

Farm-fresh egg sandwiches, omelets and salads are just a few of the staples at Squawk Cafe in Spring Township. (Andrew Kulp – Reading Eagle)

Every drink at Squawk Café has an artisanal touch, with a selection that includes coffees, teas, flavored soft drinks and more, like the incredibly smooth oat milk latte available on tap

“I’m super big on handcrafting everything,” Joelle said. “I make all the syrups myself. Drink compilations, that’s me too.

“It adds a personal touch and I express my creativity. He’s my medium.”

Food-wise, there are separate breakfast and lunch menus, though farm-fresh egg sandwiches (you can really taste the difference) served on brioche rolls are available all day.

Customers can order omelettes, bagels, and different sweet or savory plates from morning until 11 a.m., when the menu switches to sandwiches, soups, and salads.

To streamline the process, online ordering is available through thesquawkcafe.com.

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Start your day with an artisanal caramel macchiato and baked goods at Squawk Cafe in Spring Township. (Andrew Kulp – Reading Eagle)

There is a slight sense of irony in the fact that Daley works at a credit union, even though his job is to imagine and prepare high-end meals for the clientele rather than hovering over the numbers. .

Daley earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of the Pacific in California in 2013, but soon became disillusioned with the industry.

Attracted by the challenges facing the agriculture industry, he instead went to work in agriculture before eventually transitioning into a career in the restaurant business.

When he landed a job at TPC Boston, a golf club operated by the PGA Tour, Daley had the chance to learn from Brian Sheehan, a well-known chef in the area, and ended up making the most of it. .

“That’s really where I got my basic knowledge,” Daley recalls. “When I look back on my career, it’s because of a lot of stray balls and missed chances by other people that I’ve always been up to snuff.

“When I was working there I didn’t have a lot of experience, but I kind of became someone the leader would go to when someone else dropped the ball.”

From there, Daley made a stint at the Morgantown Coffee House in Caernarvon Township before creating the Squawk Café concept.

The band is back

Joelle Patrick, barista manager at Squawk Cafe in Spring Township, serves an oat milk latte for a customer. (Andrew Kulp – Reading Eagle)

Daley is quick to point out that he couldn’t do it alone, however, and is happy to be joined at the Squawk Café by several of his past teammates.

This includes Patrick as well as Sous Chef Christian Borgard.

“One of my main focuses has been relationships,” Daley said. “Relationships with vendors, with local farmers, but also relationships with the people who work with me.

“I think culture permeates food because people want to come to work. Joëlle, Christian and I, this is our third job together now. We’ve been working together for a while. A lot of people from my last job are also here with me.

For Patrick, being a business partner is a new role, but one that she has always worked for, she said.

The dynamic at Squawk Café is one that fosters innovation, she continued, in addition to an atmosphere of positive energy and few boundaries.

“When you have people improving your skills, it just makes them better and different,” Joelle said. “It’s very easy to become boring and complacent, and sometimes hard to come up with new ideas. I think we constantly challenge ourselves and open ourselves up to different ideas and flavor combinations.

Squawk Cafe

Address: 2609 Keizer Boulevard, Spring Township

Hours: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Website: thesquawkcafe.com


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