Barrington family opens café in Riverside

Jill Ingham relaxes for a minute inside Sage Café. Jill Ingham relaxes for a minute inside Sage Café.

Jill Ingham relaxes for a minute inside Sage Café.

Jill Ingham relaxes for a minute inside Sage Café.

Running the newly opened Sage Café is a family affair.

On a recent weekday morning, Barrington residents Jill Ingham and her husband Jason stood behind the counter at the Riverside café, pouring coffees, cooking crepes and filling other orders. A few feet away, Jill’s mother, Joan Monti restocked shelves. Joan’s husband Pat also stopped in for a short visit.

The family feel crosses past the front counter. The Inghams know their customers well and share small talk while filling orders. As one woman approached the counter, Ms. Ingham greeted her by her first name and then carefully recited the woman’s favorite crepe order. A few moments later the customer was sitting comfortably at a table, enjoying her coffee while Ms. Ingham prepared her breakfast.

“We’re definitely that kind of place,” Ms. Ingham said. “It’s all about the customers. It’s been really great.”

Ms. Ingham has long-wanted to open her own café. The Sowams area resident has years of experience working in other peoples’ restaurants, including at Pastiche in Federal Hill and more recently at Providence Coffee Roasters, which used to fill the same space in the small Riverside shopping plaza on Willett Avenue. 

When Providence Coffee Roasters closed its doors earlier this year, Ms. Ingham recognized the opportunity. She has entered the venture with her mother as a business partner, and praises her mom for the expertise she brings to the table. Ms. Monti owned and operated Nuts ‘N Such, a very popular shop in Barrington, for a number of years.

“She’s got the good business-mind,” Ms. Ingham said.

Sage Café offers coffee from Coastal Roasters, the Tiverton-based company that has drawn a strong following for its aromatic beans. Ms. Ingham loves her coffee — she was willing to make the drive to Tiverton just for the coffee in years past — and knows how important brewing just the right cup can be.

Jill Ingham prepares a crepe.

Jill Ingham prepares a crepe.

Sage also offers some specialty drinks. There’s the Rig-a-chino, which blends caramel and chocolate syrup steamed with milk and added to a double shot of espresso, and the Why Not?, which mixes coconut, chocolate and almond syrups steamed with milk and then added to a double shot of espresso.

Sage has also drawn rave reviews for its crepes. There are the sweet crepes, which include a series of combinations ranging from Nutella and strawberries to apple, walnut and brown sugar. And there are the savory crepes — combinations like apple and cheddar, or spinach, tomato, onion, feta and cheddar. Customers are also welcome to create their own combinations.

Ms. Ingham and her family are also branching out into catering coffee and pastry assortments to local businesses. They also have gluten free and vegan options, and recently began offering gifts like jewelry to the shop shelves.

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One Comment;

  1. Manuel C. "Manny" Correira said:

    I know this family well. Pat and Joan Monti are longtime friends. Their daughter has opened a fine business establishment that folks in the entire East Bay area can be proud of.

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