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Detail for Herrell's : Restaurant, Cafe

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Here is link to a recent news article about Herrell's Cafe and its recent changes. please check it out and THANK YOU! - new owner, 11/29/2007

Allston/Brighton Tab Allston, Mass. - The word “love” gets thrown around a lot at Herrell’s Café. The food is made with love. The employees love working there. The customers love coming in. And Page Masse, the new owner of the Allston institution, well, she’s just full of love. “I love to feed people. I love to make food. I love to put food into people’s bellies,” she said, letting out a big laugh. In fact, nearly everything Masse, 37, said is accompanied with a laugh. She calls everyone “honey,” the employees behind the counter, many of them tattooed, are “the kids,” and for her, Herrell’s is nothing but a labor of love. Masse and her husband, Derek Brown, took over the eclectic café at the corner of Brighton and Harvard avenues on Oct. 15, but her connection to the popular coffee joint goes deeper. Masse moved to Allston 15 years ago and constantly stopped

Allston , Herrell's

by Herrell’s because they had, in her opinion, the best coffee around. Four years ago, she quit her job as a bookkeeper at an economic consulting firm to pour coffee at Herrell’s. “The interaction with people made it worth it,” Masse said. “At my old job, I only interacted when I was going after people to audit them.” When previous owner Erica Kotin got married over the summer, Masse worried the shop might be sold and the entire staff would be fired, or, even worse, turned into a Starbucks. She approached Kotin and they worked on the sale for several months. “She loves and knows the store, knows the employees and the neighborhood, so it’s such an easy transition to everybody,” Kotin said. Herrell’s has stood at the same intersection for 18 years. Once a franchise of the Herrell’s Ice Cream chain, the shop expanded into breakfast and lunch. Now, with 90 percent of sales coming from non-ice cream items, the shop retains the name only and carries the frozen treat through a licensing agreement. Changes at Herrell’s Since taking over, Masse has added food service until 8 p.m. and expanded the vegan menu, adding vegan carrot cake, banana bread, cupcakes (“so yummy,” she said) and the ultimate oxymoron, vegan deli meat. “For me, living in the area, I saw it as supply and demand,” she said. “Vegans need to eat, too.” Everything is made in-house, from the muffins and brownies to the mango salsa and pesto. All of the 13 employees are trained to bake, and handle specific lunch or breakfast tasks. The reason for doing this is, once again, love. “It’s quality control, but then there’s a little more care and a little more love put into the food,” Masse said. While everyone works hard, Masse makes sure the kids who sling coffee are entertained. When several employees were down in the dumps recently, she brought in cowboy hats and Nerf guns to lighten up the mood. “I love it, I absolutely love it,” said Chris Mindel after cleaning off tables around the café. Mindel has worked at Herrell’s for six months, but on this day, he wasn’t even on the clock. “I have three days off, and this is where I’m at,” he said. “I don’t have much in the way of family, and Page and Derek are like my mom and dad.” The family vibe extends outside the café as well. Herrell’s sells food wholesale to other local restaurants, and Masse always recommends local businesses to her customers. Starting next month, the shop will showcase local artists and Masse is planning a gallery-type opening, complete with free coffee and a DJ set by an employee, kicking off around 8 p.m. on Dec 1. “It’s a part of what Allston is and has been; an area where poor artists, rockers and art students live,” Masse said. “They’re doing their own thing, and [art] is one of the things I want to bring back into Allston.” While the small confines don’t allow for full-blown rock ’n’ roll spectacles, the shop will soon have country or folk musicians occasionally performing as well. All of it adds up to a place where anyone and everyone can feel at home. On a recent Monday afternoon, customers with dyed Mohawks sit side by side with a man in a tie squinting at his laptop. A picture of David Hasselhoff with a large drawn-on moustache hangs behind the counter, with the message “It’ll make you feel like a real man.” “I think it really kind of represents what Allston is,” Mindel said. “Herrell’s is like a port, where people come floating in. They come from out of state, other countries and other parts of the city and they know they’ll fit in.” For Masse, it’s the Allston version of another Boston landmark. “Herrell’s is kind of like the place where everyone knows your name,” she said. “It’s that comfort spot where you go for friendliness and conversation.” Masse works anywhere from 12 to 20 hours a day, with a few days off per week, but days off are defined as days when she spends three hours or less in the shop. She doesn’t mind though. Masse is just grateful to have Herrell’s for what it is. “You don’t take this job for the money,” she said. “You do it as a labor of love
- new owner, 12/03/2007

Updated Info- Herrell's is now serving food until 8pm!!! Also Herrell's has added a few new VEGAN items to the lunch menu including Tofurkey, as well as "to die for" Vegan CUPCAKES!!! As of December 1st, 2007 we will be having art shows featuring a different local artist every two weeks! Things are shaping up at Herrell's and I am very proud of our employees for all their hard work as of late cleaning and coming up with new menu items!! Please stop on in and enjoy some of the fruits of their labor! Thank you again for your continued support! - new owner, 11/16/2007

I noticed that the picture is dated 10/15/07, well that is the exact date of purchase by the new owners. We hope to be increasing the quality of service, cleanliness and over all "vibe" of the cafe. The food is always made fresh to your order, homemade food is always best. The new owners have been Allston residents and Herrell's Cafe customers for almost twenty years, and have alot of love for Herrell's. The new owners will be looking to only improve all that is great about Herrell's Allston Cafe. "Best of Boston" Herrell's Ice Cream, fresh baked goods daily, increasingly yummy Vegan menu options, serving fresh breakfast and lunch options and free wi-fi available. The new owners would like to welcome you to the "New" Herrells Allston Cafe. Small changes in menu and to the cafe itself will be forthcoming, we hope that you continue to support Herrell's Allston Cafe and we thank you for your support!! ps: We are accepting question and suggestions at - new owner, 10/23/2007

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