The classic combination of coffee and cookies is now being served up at the Napa Premium Outlets.
Brewed, one of Napa’s newest coffee shops, is owned by local mother and daughter Laura Saunders and Lisa Saunders Blanc.
The shop is clean, warm and inviting with an extensive drink menu, freshly baked cookies and edible cookie dough.
Brewed opened its doors on Thanksgiving night in 2017. Expecting just a trickle of shoppers, Laura Saunders said they were overwhelmed—and overjoyed—by the steady stream of customers. The early-bird shoppers who flocked to the outlets for Black Friday sales made their unofficial opening a huge success.
“We had no paid staff lined up yet, so our amazing family and friends volunteered to be part of our first weekend,” Laura Saunders said.
“We all put on our brewed aprons and simply opened the doors! It ended up being a crazy, fun, and very busy night.”
The coffee shop is still awaiting its grand opening, which is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. Brewed isn’t inside the food court — instead it’s located next to the Gymboree outlet store, on the north side of the mall.
Big, rich, flavorful cookies have always been a specialty within the Saunders’ family — long before Laura and Lisa turned it into a business.
“We were almost always asked to bring cookies to family gatherings and celebrations,” Laura Saunders said. “The response was always, ‘you could sell these, they are so good!’”
Brewed serves organic coffee, roasted locally in Sebastopol, and offers a wide assortment of cookies: chocolate chip (with or without nuts), snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter, double chocolate, ginger molasses and white chocolate chip macadamia nut.
A sugar cookie covered in colorful sprinkles is popular among brewed’s youngest customers. Organic versions of all the cookies are available by special order.
Perhaps the most unique feature of brewed is its cookie dough bar. By adjusting their traditional cookie recipe—using pasteurized eggs and flour to eliminate any harmful bacteria—the cookie dough is edible and safe for consumption, the owners said.
Brewed offers eight or nine different types of dough each day. The dough is scooped like ice cream into a small bowl and drizzled with chocolate, caramel or other toppings.
Some of the most popular dough flavors are s’mores, coconut bar, snickerdoodle, chocolate chip and peanut butter.
“When we were making cookies at home, we had a few friends ask us if we could save some cookie dough for them. They wanted to eat the dough in addition to eating the cookies,” Laura Saunders said. “After all, most of us grew up tasting the dough or batters that our parent’s would make!”
While scouting locations for their new coffee shop, Saunders said the Napa Premium Outlets was always near the top of the list.
“We studied the demographics, traffic, consumer trends, and community access,” she said. “We literally showed up in the parking lot at different times of the day, on different days of the week and physically counted cars while watching traffic patterns.”
After meeting with the management team of the outlets and negotiating a space, the building process still took several months to complete—because the previous tenant at 865 Factory Stores Dr. was a clothing store.
“It took a while to open, since we had to rip out concrete, dig huge trenches for water and electrical, build a barista bar, bathroom and commercial kitchen,” Saunders said.
While brewed gets its fair share of tourists at the outlet mall, most of its customers are locals.
“That makes our hearts sing,” Saunders said.
Brewed offers a customer loyalty program as well as a meeting package for a busy office: 10 cups of coffee in a to-go container, (along with cups, sleeves, a variety of sugars, cream, napkins, and stir sticks) and a choice of cookies and pastries.
Coming from a close family, Laura and Lisa have been able to collaborate fairly easily — despite having different ideas and areas of expertise.
For about 25 years, Laura Saunders and her husband provided care and supported living services for people with developmental disabilities. Saunders has an extensive background in business, administration and marketing.
Lisa Saunders Blanc worked with her parents as the director of human resources and has technical expertise. She said she also knows the ins and outs of running a coffee shop.
Saunders Blanc discovered her love of coffee while working as a barista at Caffino in Napa during high school and college. Her coffee cup has remained within arm’s reach ever since.
When the funding model changed for their work with the developmentally disabled, the family looked for a new opportunity.
Laura and Lisa decided to create an entirely new career for themselves by combining their love of coffee and popular family cookie recipe. The idea for brewed was born.
Laura Saunders said working alongside her daughter has been an amazing experience.
“We have been able to share the triumphs, frustrations, and struggles of developing and running a business together and still garner tremendous respect and admiration for each other.”
For details, call 707-637-4858 or visit brewed on Instagram and Facebook. On Thurs., Feb. 15, the Napa CHP, along with Napa Police and Napa Sheriff, will be at brewed from 8 to 10 a.m. for “Coffee with a Cop.”