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Colleen DeCesare and her wife Jennifer opened up the local coffee shop on Jan. 20, 2007. Photo: Instagram.
Colleen DeCesare and her wife Jennifer opened up the local coffee shop on Jan. 20, 2007. Photo: Instagram.

At Black ‘N Brew on Passyunk, hearty, healthy breakfasts are the staple

They’re also the key ingredient to staying positive amid a pandemic.

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Colleen DeCesare and her wife Jennifer always knew that they wanted to open up a quaint, breakfast shop, where they could use teamwork to make their venture successful.

For the past 14 years they’ve done so at Black ‘N Brew on Passyunk Ave.

“My wife Jennifer handles the taxes and accounting,” DeCesare said. “I handle the cooking.”

Customers flock to the shop from across the city for what they tell her is a closeness that can’t be found anywhere else.

It started from a love for the most important meal of the day.

“I’ve collected breakfast menus for many years, I love breakfast and wanted to jump into that field,” DeCesare said in a recent interview with AL DÍA News.

But before the dream could be realized, the Drexel Hill native also knew that she needed some experience.

After spending some time in California, DeCesare came back to Philly and hopped into management at two coffee shops in the airport.

“I learned a lot,” she said.

So much, that she and her wife opened Black ‘N Brew on Jan. 20, 2007.

“We are very grateful that we created our environment,” said DeCesare.Soon after, they found themselves riding the waves of faithful customers that brought their families for brunch on the weekends.

Over the years, the pair have become an integral part of the community and a vital part of the lives of the people that live there.

“We’ve been here for over 14 years, the community is a huge part of our success,” said DeCesare. “Some kids that come here now, we’ve known them since they were babies, so it’s definitely cool.”

The pair learned as they went that not everything was perfect, but they followed their heart and always made sure their customers had healthy food on their plates.

“We always keep health in mind,” she said. “We want them to feel good when they leave our shop.”

Although the restaurant was closed for seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t stop them from being positive and making the best with what they had.

“We’ve always been super optimistic about our place,” she expressed.

DeCesare takes pride in knowing that her ingredients are as local as they can be.

“We use bread from our local bakery, mighty bread, that’s around the corner, our seitan is locally made,” she said. “We make all of our desserts like our pumpkin loaf, chocolate chip banana bread, and our blueberry bars.”

Her breakfast spot is also known for its signature omelets, which are filled with sauteed spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese with hand-cut home fries on the side.

On top of that, fans can’t get enough of their award-winning pancakes.

“Our pancakes are more on the savory side, we use our whole wheat flour,” said DeCesare.

For lunch, regulars lean towards their turkey reubens.

“We do oven-roasted turkey with homemade Russian dressing, with swiss cheese and sauerkraut, sauerkraut is good for the gut,” she said.

It’s safe to say that if you visit Black ‘N Brew, Jennifer and Colleen will welcome you with open arms.

So just order a breakfast burrito, and read one of your favorite books while sitting in their homey breakfast shop that’s right on the corner of E. Passyunk Ave and Cross St.

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