As customers walked in, a ringing bell filled the cozy café. The comforting atmosphere was punctuated by warm natural wooden walls and inviting scents of maple and hazelnut from the dark-roasted coffee.
Customers sat on shiny vintage chairs while sifting through local newspapers, as they waited for their orders.
“Hey there,” a local customer said as she walked toward the counter greeting the co-owner, Bill Hieber. She was picking up her salad order she had placed on the phone earlier.
The Depot Café is just a short walk or drive down Main Street welcoming anyone in search of a delicious indulging treat, with New England Coffee and fresh sandwiches and soups. And it’s actually three businesses in one: The Depot Café and Bake Shop, Michelle’s Sweet Creations, and Feastivities Catering Service. It has become a fan favorite among many Castleton University faculty and students.
You can often see Michael Talbott, chair of the Communication Department, walking there in between classes.
“They have great salads and sandwiches … and always have great specials,” Talbott said. His favorite is by far the Bacon Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese, of course on sourdough.
Hieber said that customers like his food, but love the low prices the most.
“The big thing is the breakfast sandwich, with a free small coffee,” he said, when asked to name a customer favorite.
Michelle’s Sweet Creations makes up the irresistible pastries and treats for the business.
Communication professor Sanjukta Ghosh loves her sweet tooth and Michelle’s Sweet Creations are the perfect match for her.
“On my birthday, they knew how much I loved éclairs, so I bought six and they gave me two for free … eight éclairs! I only live five miles from the Depot Café, and by the time I was home I had finished all eight,” Ghosh said with a laugh.
“Michelle’s Sweet Creations are my favorite, because everyone knows I have an incredible sweet tooth … I’m stuck at the pastry section,” Ghosh said, adding that it’s a nice walk to get there too.
The Depot Café and Bake Shop is also a great spot for students.
Sabrina Easton, who commutes to Castleton University, visits at least once a week.
“They have really good coffee flavors and prices,” Easton said.
Hieber said he hopes to expand the space, and create longer business hours in the future.
The Depot Café and Bake Shop is located at 266 Main St. It is open for customers Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.