Owner Sandy Hanshaw, who also owns the adjacent Wine Pub, fulfills a desire to cultivate a friendly bike community while offering the finest espressos, lattes, teas – both hot and cold – hot ganache (cocoa) plus a full menu for breakfast and lunch. According to Hanshaw, the Coffee Hub stands as the only coffee shop on Shelter Island. Surrounding hotels offer coffee, but the area lacks an espresso café.
Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Coffee Hub and Café showcases a rustic interior with bike-infused art and a rotating collection of biking paraphernalia inclusive of riding saddles, caps, jerseys and wheels donated by family, friends and customers who wished to immortalize a piece of their riding gear as wall décor. A full-size bike as artifact also lines the inside interior; one that can actually be “removed and ridden.”
Family member and graphic designer Ron Miriello designed the Coffee Hub’s bike-themed logo to complete “a dream come true” for Hanshaw and her husband Andy – the director of the San Diego Bike Coalition. Made in the “spirit of the success of The Wine Pub,” The Coffee Hub and Café offers patrons a bike-friendly environment so that as the “doors close on one side, they open on the other, offering customers delicious meals and drinks - morning, noon and night.”
The Point Loma resident is no stranger to a work ethic for the success of both business venues. “Some days I’m here 24/7,” said Hanshaw. “At the moment, I’m in the Coffee Hub more than the Wine Pub, but I tend to do both. But I love it. All of it. I really do.”
Hanshaw recruited The Wine Pub’s chef Malissa Sorsby to create a unique and varied breakfast, lunch and snack menu for the Coffee Hub. Savory breakfast items include bread pudding with sausage and gravy, flatbreads, sliders, homemade biscuits and a Caprese egg benedict.
“We purposely offer a non-traditional breakfast menu,” she continued. “We don’t offer ordinary, every-day items, but we take care of the classic traditionalist with a tasty menu of bacon and eggs.”
Lunch boasts of homemade paninis, soups and salads. Flavored syrups are also homemade. Embracing everything local to work within the walls of The Coffee Hub was important for Hanshaw. One cupping with resident coffee roaster – the Swell Coffee Co. – convinced her that she found her coffee bean. Liberty Station’s Point Loma Teas provides hot and cold tea brews and local pastries are shipped in from Hillcrest’s Bread & Cie.
Hanshaw described The Coffee Hub and Café as a smart business move for The Wine Pub. “Serving breakfast and lunch was a business move that added a smart niche for us and the neighborhood,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of learning all that I never knew before. Coffee was not in my wheelhouse of expertise. But not only did I learn about coffee – there are so many parallels between wine and coffee – I hired experts. I surrounded myself with good people who’ve taught me a lot.”
The novice coffee aficionado noted the many similarities between wine and coffee by comparing grapes and coffee beans, vegetation areas, characteristics of flavors and the similarity of textures.
Hanshaw added that the Point Loma community has embraced The Coffee Hub and Café with open arms. “There’s such a strong, supportive and rich sense of community with businesses and families within the area,” she said. “Our goal is to be a place where people can come together in a comfortable, productive setting for business meetings, breakfast clubs, book clubs and community outreach groups celebrating different causes.
“I’m thrilled every time I walk in,” she continued. “The Coffee Hub is everything I ever wanted and more. The space is warm, comfortable, clean, simple, yet interesting with loads of color.
“Our patrons give The Coffee Hub and Café its new sense of popularity. Not only the locals, but the commuters – those who live in the area and stop by for a grab and go – and those who work in the area and enjoy resting for a bite to eat in a pleasant atmosphere. Add the visiting tourists and we host new people every day in completely different ways.”
From day one, Hanshaw accommodated two tourists from La Sans, Switzerland who were learning English as a second language during a three-week immersion class. “Every morning they enjoyed lattes and croissants on the patio before their class,” she said. “I enjoyed listening as they progressed through their English language learning program. They went from barely saying hello to a nice repertoire of English. We honestly missed them when they left.”
Hanshaw noted that the art of biking will remain embedded the culture of The Coffee Hub. “This will be a very bike-friendly atmosphere,” she said.
Hanshaw described a recent, yet seemingly typical, Sunday Coffee Hub schedule. “Thirty cyclists arrived from Chula Vista at 10:30 a.m.,” she said. “The group used The Coffee Hub as a stop on their 77-mile ride in celebration of one rider’s 77th birthday. Riders from Adams Avenue Bike Shop added yet another 15 people a bit later. We were bombarded by cyclists, which I love. And Andy plans on running Sunday morning rides that begin and end at the Coffee Hub.”
The husband and wife team foresee The Coffee Hub and Café as a vibrant coffee shop brimming with Shelter Island locals, daily commuters, domestic and foreign tourists and bicycle riders, all enjoying the space for early morning hot and cold beverages, breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks.
“The Hub is the perfect, casual fun spot for everyone,” she concluded. “And most importantly, The Coffee Hub and Café will serve the bike culture as Point Loma and Shelter Island’s go-to hot spot.”
Coffee Hub and Cafe
Where: 2907 Shelter Island Drive.
Hours: Open daily 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.