CopaMoca, the third place, away from home and work.

While growing up in upstate New York, I would ride my ten-speed bike up the street to Nino’s Italian Bakery shop and spend time with my Italian friends. The shop with its distinct coffee and pastry aroma had soccer posters of all the Italian pro soccer teams. This would be our get away place or third place away from home and work. We would first order an espresso, then choose a pastry from Nino, and chat Italian soccer maybe some local news. We all were trying to prove whose favorite team would win the Coppa Italia that year.

Nino the baker and I became good friends, so good I would later be in his wedding. Eager to watch and learn Nino’s craft, he offered me a job to work in the kitchen washing pots and pans of course. So, after cleaning up the kitchen and ready to hop on my bike, Nino had waiting in a white box, leftover pastries for me to take home. Excited to share the baker’s generosity, I would get my mom and aunts to taste his work. We would check out what was inside the box, identify each pastry and taste Nino’s creation. “Sono buone” we’d say, these are good. As you see, we have been tasting good stuff ever since I can remember.

Well, Milano won the Coppa that year and I had experienced an amazing culture in the fine art of Italian pastries and sharing such delights with great friends. This memory stuck with me, and growing older, I realize that carrying on this beautiful culture is very important, if not, it would diminish with time. Today’s fast pace world can easily make us forget our past especially in the pleasures of food and drink. And with home and work taking most of our attention, we all need that third place to share with friends. What a great way to spend time, you sip an espresso, indulge in a pastry and be with friends. Salute!

Make CopaMoca your third place, away from home and work.