Jan. 15, 2020 Staff Report
Two brothers who opened a state-of-the-art laundry center on 82nd Street last year have recently added a trendy cafe to their corner space that can be accessed from inside or outside the laundromat.
David and Samuel Velasquez opened the doors to Parva Bakeshop & Café at 82-01 Northern Blvd. in early November.
The bakery-café, which is about 700 square feet in size, is located on the north east corner of Northern Boulevard and 82nd Street as part of a 3,000 square foot commercial space.
The remaining portion of the commercial space is home to Aquarelo Laundromat, an eco-friendly laundry center that the brothers opened in July.
Parva Bakeshop & Cafe shares the same address as Aquarelo, but operates as a standalone business with a sidewalk entrance on Northern Boulevard. Nevertheless, laundromat customers who are waiting for clothes to dry can also enter the bakery-café through a corridor that connects the two businesses from inside.
The opening of Parva Bakeshop helps complete the vision that the Velasquez brothers had for the corner lot. This vision, David Velasquez said, included opening two separate businesses where customers from one place of business – such as the laundromat – would be able to walk over to the other.
“When we first started thinking about what type of businesses we could open that would benefit the community, we noticed that this part of Jackson Heights didn’t really have an upscale cafe where visitors can meet to chat or do group work over a cup of high-quality coffee,” Velasquez said.
The cafe seats up to 18 people comfortably and has a modern interior with artwork that pays homage to Queens as well as the countries from where the menu ingredients are sourced.
The brothers source their coffee beans from Santa Barbara–Colombia– in large cans, which are identified as 100 percent single-origin. The single-source origin guarantees a premium gourmet product, Velasquez said.
“Single-origin means that the beans come from only one farm–ensuring the highest quality,” Velasquez explained.
“Lower-quality coffee tends to have beans mixed from multiple locations,” he said. “The quality is not as good since it consists of lower-quality beans from several farms. That is why some coffee only costs one dollar.”
Velasquez said his customers only receive the freshest and best teas, coffee and baked goods. Certain steps are taken to ensure their items are unique and not mass produced, he said.
The Chai Latte, for example, is made using eight different types of spices that are carefully roasted and steeped in brewed Assam tea and fresh ginger.
The soups that are served are always made from real ingredients–with no artificial bases, flavorings or colorings ever added, he said. The chicken soup is made from bones that are cooked slowly, while the vegetable soups are mostly vegan. This makes for a healthy alternative, Velasquez said, to the many fast food options that in the area.
Parvas’ line of home-made baked goods includes artisanal, laminated pastries made with Latin ingredients.
Cacao, which can found in many of their chocolate pastries, is imported directly from small producers and prepared daily on-site. The items that include cacao are the triple layered chocolate croissants and the hot chocolate with marshmallows.
A variety of different cream cheeses are made on site to complement their line of homemade bagels. The brothers make roasted jalapeno, scallion, lox and guava cream cheese.
“Our vision is to only sell items that are high quality, with everything done in house instead of being outsourced,” Velasquez said.
Parva Bakeshop & Cafe is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.