A scratch kitchen may be the last thing you expect to find inside a craft coffee shop, but this is only the beginning of the surprises awaiting you at Cozee Cafe located in Lake Mary at Colonial TownPark.
The craft coffee shop and scratch kitchen recently underwent a revival with new management, a new chef, and the addition of a pastry chef who visits twice weekly to sweeten up the coffee bar with an assortment of baked goods.
Zac Somji, the general manager, has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, not far behind Chef Verne Hogan, who has 30 years experience and has left his mark on restaurants throughout Florida.
Both Somji and Hogan collaborate to create new dishes in the scratch kitchen, a format which allows them great flexibility and creative freedom in the menu offerings.
The menu is in a constant state of evolution while remaining true to its foundational flavors, which incorporates halal meat and North African influenced dishes. From there, American touches are added for approachability, and some dishes veer more into Caribbean and Latin territory.
Curious foodies won’t want to miss the shakshouka, a Moroccan dish (and recent menu addition) available for breakfast. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro are cooked down, two eggs are cracked on top and the dish is finished in the oven. There’s also a healthy serving of naan bread included to sop up any leftover goodness. This flavorful and slightly spicy dish is a great way to kick start your day.
Another unique breakfast option in the Zege, which is best described as a giant omelet stuffed with French fries and cilantro chili chutney. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s topped with two grilled ribeye and pepper skewers and chili lime slaw.
If classic breakfast offerings are more your speed, traditional favorites like eggs benedict, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches are available.
If you can’t make it for breakfast, lunch options are available daily (just be aware that the kitchen closes at 3pm Monday-Wednesday) and dinner is served Thursday-Sunday. The regionally themed dinner menu rotates weekly, so you can rest assured you’ll never be bored by the menu.
The craft coffee bar is worthy of becoming a permanent fixture in your morning routine. The coffee bar, overseen by head barista Caitlyn Rodriguez, sources its coffee beans from Lineage Coffee, a well-known roaster and coffee bar based in Orlando.
Lineage has a strong focus on quality and sources their beans from individual farmers in multiple countries.
I started off with a caramel latte to celebrate the arrival of cooler “fall” temperatures, but if you need to beat the heat definitely give the cold brew a try. It’s available in two different variations: white and black. Just prepare yourself for a serious caffeine rush; the cold brew is not for the faint of heart.
Craft coffee is a step above the rest, and Lineage is often referred to as the best coffee in Orlando, so having it available locally in Lake Mary is a real treat.
Speaking of treats, milkshakes are a wonderful afternoon treat (or breakfast, I’m not judging) available at the coffee bar. Served in a mason jar and topped with whipped cream, the Nutella milkshake is heavenly. Don’t by shy – treat yourself!
The focus on quality and creativity doesn’t stop at the kitchen or coffee bar – it carries over into the employees as well.
“I’ve always believed in having the right people in the right position,” says Zac Somji, general manager, and everyone certainly is in their right place at Cozee Cafe.
The winning combination of knowledgeable staff (each with their own unique area of expertise), high quality halal meats, and the cultural blend of flavors have earned the cafe a loyal community following, with a clientele just as diverse as the menu.
Whether you’re stopping by to get some work done at the coffee bar, need a new go-to dinner stop, or are joining the breakfast and brunch crowd, Cozee Cafe is a welcoming hub for locals and visitors alike.
Come expand your palate and appreciate culinary creativity at this truly cozy neighborhood favorite.
About Cozee Cafe
Cozee Cafe is located in Colonial TownPark at 1145 Townpark Avenue, Suite 1221 in Lake Mary.
The kitchen hours are 8:00am – 3:00pm Monday through Wednesday, and 8:00am – 10:00pm Thursday through Sunday. The coffee bar is open daily from 8:00am – 10:00pm.
For more information, call (407) 804-0066 or visit www.cozeecafe.com.