After nine years of providing gourmet salads, sandwiches, and desserts to the Middletown community, Sweet Harmony Café and Bakery closed its doors on December 29th of last year. It was a huge loss for the writers of WesStuffed, as Sweet Harmony has always been one of our top recommendations for imaginative cuisine, friendly service, and a unique dining-room atmosphere. We knew it could never be replaced; our only hope was that they would soon move to a new location somewhere in town. Much to our delight, they successfully moved in after just five months. Where, you ask? 330 Main Street, the former location of beloved Middletown coffee shop, Javapalooza.
Javapalooza was known for its creative coffee flavors and live music events on Friday and Saturday nights. Its young ambiance distinguished it as the “hip” coffee shop in Middletown, attracting many students from Wesleyan University over the years. After a change in management just last year, the café was sold this past March.
Alas, every cloud has a silver lining. As we mourned the loss of Javapalooza, we celebrated the return of Sweet Harmony. So why did Sweet Harmony decide to move in the first place?
“We made the strategic decision to not renew the lease because we were aiming to grow the business and realized that a part of that growth included a bigger location that allowed the restaurant the ability to branch out into other avenues within the food industry,” reported JC Gaither, business manager and owner of Sweet Harmony. He believed that it was important to stay in Middletown and continue to offer their unique blend of foods to the diverse cultures that comprise the residential community. In particular, Main Street was a favored location for the foot traffic, which could add to their growing customer base.
Though the owners of Sweet Harmony were able to sell their baked goods at O’Rourke’s Diner while they searched for a new location, we missed the dining experience as a whole. The beautiful green Victorian that previously housed the eatery defined Sweet Harmony in so many ways. There was something nostalgic about it, as if you had suddenly been transported to the comforting bliss of your grandmother’s kitchen. It was the type of place that you never wanted to leave.
Now that Sweet Harmony has a new permanent location, we are excited to see how the owners plan to bring that same old-fashioned, charming atmosphere into a space that was formerly promoted as a trendy, music-oriented coffee shop. They have already remodeled the entire dining area and built a new kitchen.
“[On Broad Street] this space was limited and impacted the types of foods that could be prepared,” Gaither explained. “With our new space on Main Street, we were able to create various stations for the various selections of foods that we wished to prepare,” Gaiter told us.
Despite some changes, Sweet Harmony is determined to show their appreciation for the former owners of the eatery. They hope to conserve as much as they can of what Java had created, including both the menu and the physical space.
“Although the Victorian House is no longer the backdrop, the dining experience that we were able to create has been transferred to our new location on Main Street. We were able to incorporate this experience with the great coffee and menu selections to Javapalooza had established.”
No matter how much they love their new central location, however, the owners of Sweet Harmony will always be thankful to the place where it all began: 158 Broad Street.
“We will always be grateful for that opportunity, because it gave us time to establish a supportive customer base, a great product and wonderful future hopes that continue to be realized.”
If you’re interested in seeing how these future hopes have been manifested in the eateries new location, visit them during their new extended hours: from 6 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday, 7 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays, and 8 AM – 5 PM on Sundays.
Sweet Harmony Cafe and Bakery
330 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457