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'Cafe Cotton Bean' Opens in Crown Heights With Japan-Inspired Menu

By Rachel Holliday Smith | December 2, 2016 1:24pm | Updated on December 5, 2016 8:48am
 Mayumi Maeda, left, opened Cafe Cotton Bean at 1077 Bergen St. on Sunday.
Mayumi Maeda, left, opened Cafe Cotton Bean at 1077 Bergen St. on Sunday.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A new cafe is open for business off Nostrand Avenue this week, bringing coffee and pastries to a minimalist space sometimes confused for a gallery, its owner said.

Cafe Cotton Bean, located at 1077 Bergen St. just west of Nostrand Avenue, opened on Sunday, serving Parlor Coffee, sandwiches and baked goods in an all-white space named for two of co-owner Mayumi Maeda’s favorite things: clothing and coffee.

“Working at a coffee shop was my very first part-time job back in Japan, a long time ago,” she said.

The Carroll Gardens resident is now an independent clothing designer, artist and designer, but has wanted to get into the cafe business for years; she and her business partner used Kickstarter to get the Bergen Street eatery off the ground.

“In this economy, people buy clothes and food,” she said.

The menu at Cafe Cotton Bean. (Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)

Business has been good in the first week, she said. Pastries sold out completely on day one, and certain popular items such as chocolate croissants have often run out by closing time. But not everyone is sold on the cafe, she said; some would-be customers aren't sure what the eatery is when they see its bare walls and white window shades.

“People think 'Oh, that’s a gallery,'" Maeda said with a laugh.

Currently, the cafe serves a limited menu with coffee drinks (Parlor Coffee supplies the beans), baked goods and a small selection of sandwiches. But Maeda says a more robust offering of Japan-inspired foods is coming soon, including noodle dishes, organic matcha and sandwiches inspired by Ramen Burger.

“I love it so much,” Maeda said of the popular noodles-as-bun food truck sensation. “I do my own little twist.”

Cafe Cotton Bean opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, she said, closing in the afternoon, usually around 3 or 4 p.m.