Last year, as Jose Fuentes and George Lau strolled the Streets, they realized there wasn’t a coffee shop in the new outdoor mall. Rather than wait for one to open, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
As both Fuentes and Lau are doctors, the name Code Brew – a spin on hospital lingo “code blue” – was a natural choice. Menu categories also follow the medical theme: coffees are listed as vital signs and non-coffee beverages such as tea and hot chocolate are listed under alternative medicine. The smoothies are classified as doctor recommended, in sugar-free and dairy-free options.
But Code Brew serves more than coffee. Sandwiches, salads, frozen yogurt and pastries are available as well. “Code Brew is a place to relax and enjoy your coffee, or it’s a place to have a quick bite to eat before you head out and go about your day,” said Wolfran Sanchez, chief operating officer. “Code Brew isn’t a restaurant. We’re a coffee place first, but we want to give our customers options.
“For example, we had a couple come in and they ordered coffee. They sat down to relax a little and their kids went off to play in our kid’s area. The kids were having such a good time that the parents decided to have lunch here as well and let the kids have fun.”
The play area, stocked with toys, books and mini leather chairs, sets Code Brew apart as a coffee shop where adults can unwind while their kids unleash energy.
The coffee roasting station also separates Code Brew from other coffee shops in the area. The crew at Code Brew imports beans directly from Columbia – beans that are roasted on site. The roaster will be up and running in December, and customers will be able to buy the beans fresh and special order their own blends.
Code Brew also offers customers free Wi-Fi, and plans to install televisions so that commuters can catch the traffic report before heading to work or a football game on the weekend. For those seeking a quiet meeting area, a conference room is available in the back of the shop and features a computer hookup that projects the monitor images onto an LCD screen.
“We want this to be a place where you can relax and socialize,” said Melissa Quintin, store manager. “It’s a family-friendly place. You can come here with the kids and just hang out. It’s also a nice place to study, or you can use the conference room for a business meeting. The space is available for students, too, if they need a bigger workspace. The owners are very adamant about offering a space for students to gather and work together.”
If that isn’t enough to set Code Brew apart, the upcoming Ask the Doctors seminars are the clincher. Doctors Fuentes and Lao plan to host a meeting once a month to field medical questions from guests, and if they don’t have the answer right away, they’ll consult with colleagues and post answers on the Code Brew Web site.
The seminars are expected to come next summer along with open mic nights and live music performances from local bands.
Sanchez said if all goes well, more Code Brews will sprout up in far East County, and then the franchise will move throughout the Bay Area. Code Brew’s flagship location at the Streets of Brentwood will host a grand opening on Dec. 5.
Code Brew Coffee & More, located at 2485 Sand Creek Road, Suite 140 – next to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.codebrewcoffee.net or call 925-513-3500.