by Rachel Shubin
Special to the Star and Wave
The stillness that is wintertime in Cape May can be felt Monday through Thursday. Weekends in Cape May have more of a bustle to them, which is why many local shops opt to be open on weekends to cater to locals and visitors alike.
Do a double take, or a double shot of espresso, because Coffee Tyme is opening a new location on the Washington Street Mall. While their flagship store remains at 315 Beach Ave., owners Jesse and Leigha Lambert are opening a new and additional location at 414 Washington St.
Coffee Tyme at the mall will have their grand opening on Feb. 16. The shop will be open at least five days a week, Thursdays to Mondays. Coffee Tyme plans to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will add longer hours in May.
The Lamberts said they were hoping to expand their store in the next few years to another location that could stay open year-round. When an opportunity arose to open a new shop in 2018, they decided to take that next step.
“One thing that really excited us is seeing more stores return to being open seven days a week in the winter,” Jesse Lambert said. “We want to be a part of Cape May’s evolution back into a year-round destination.”
He said it could be difficult to find enough open places in the winter. Having Coffee Tyme at the mall stay open during the offseason will give a place for Coast Guard families, local workers, contractors and the like to have a place to eat and drink.
“I always wanted the Beach Drive location to be year-round, but in the winter, you don’t see people on the Promenade unless it’s a nice day,” Lambert said. “I still see people on the mall even when it is 20 or 30 degrees out.”
Coffee Tyme gives local workers receive a discount on their purchases, as their way to give back to the community, Jesse Lambert said.
Coffee Tyme at the mall will still have the same products as their Beach Ave. location.
“We will also have nighttime snacks and drinks such as decaf coffee and loose leaf teas,” Lambert said. “We will also offer call in orders to pick up. We are also thinking of doing delivery to the immediate Cape May City area.”
The new store will also give the Lamberts the opportunity to try out a variety of sandwiches, different lunch specials, baked goods and a wider selection of teas. All their products are made in house and they offer a diversity of gluten-free options.
“In the summer we offer eight types of sandwiches,” Lambert said. “Those sandwiches are great, but in the offseason we are going to experiment with different combinations. We can put ones that everyone likes on our summer menu.”
The winter season allows the Lamberts and their employees to get to know their customers.
“The slower pace gives us a chance to know and connect with the people in the community beyond the level of a customer,” Lambert said. “A lot of customers become my Facebook friends, so when I see them come back I can ask them about what I’ve seen them post online and it is neat to connect with them in that way.”
Coffee Tyme prides themselves on being a personal coffee shop. Their employees know customers by name, he said.
“As much as I like the slow pace of the offseason, there is something to be said about the fast pace of the summer season,” Lambert said. “In the summer we can have a line of customers that means twelve different drinks and ten sandwiches to make. In the summer, it’s now or never.”
Coffee Tyme on the beach will open in the spring.
Cape May is a running friendly community because it is a very flat place to run. Born and raised in Cape May, Michael Mader and Harry Back are two locals who took their running passion to the next level. Mader and Back opened Cape May Running Co. in May 2017.
Cape May Running Co. sells a variety of running gear at 305 Beach Ave. Their winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The store will resume more days and hours in April.
“Mike and Harry really wanted to keep the running community active in the winter,” staff member A.J. Mercincavage said. “There is still a need to buy winter gear, new shoes and running nutrition. We sell gel packs, small waffles, and salt tablets, which are used to stay hydrated and give energy when you’re going for a run.”
Being open in the winter, the employees and owners get more of a chance to interact with a different crowd.
“There are still people vacationing on the weekend stopping in,” Mercincavage said. “There is also the local running community who stop in more regularly too.”
Starting the running company was a chance co-owners Mader and Back had to take. They are the only running store in Cape May.
“We wanted to be of service and give back to the local community, not just a boutique store,” Mader said. “We give discounts to our local military, police and fire, lifeguards and cross country and track teams from the local high schools. We also want to support kids and we sponsor the healthy kid running series based in Cape May Court House.”
The running company also offers discounts for the Wildwood Harbor Tri-Club and local businesses.
Mader and Back are advocates for kids in running as well as adults. Mader also wants to support those who are walkers.
“The store is a big part of what we do and a big part of running is hosting races,” Mader said.
Cape May Running Co. will host the Great Cape May Foot Race for their second year in 2018. The 39th annual Great Cape May Footrace is scheduled for May 12. The race is both a 5K and 10K run. The cost to register is currently $30 and increases on April 1. According to Mercincavage, their races are competitively priced.
“Many people like to run on the promenade and the beach, which is great,” Mercincavage said. “That’s what Cape May is all about. We also want to show people there are other really nice places to run on the island.”
The running company is hosting the first half-marathon run in Cape May. The Hollowed Half will take place on October 27. The registration price is $80.
“It’s going to be a really great race for the first year,” Mercincavage said. “It’s going to include a run on the Promenade, through West Cape May by the horse farms, through Cape May Point to see the lighthouse. It is really scenic and a flat course.”
Mader and Back had the opportunity to sit down and pick out picturesque spots for the half-marathon course. Mercincavage says the course shows everything the island has to offer.
“We wanted to get people outside in Cape May and see more than just the beach front. It’s going to be a great event and is very affordable,” Mader said.
The company sells training packages for their runs.
“We learned a lot the first year about customers’ needs and we are looking to build on that and those relationships,” Mercincavage said. “We are very excited to start hosting more races and continuing to develop relations with the running community in Cape May and South Jersey.”
The running company is adding Asics brand to their shoe inventory and will continue to add brand names as they grow.
“A local podiatrist came in the other morning and asked if he can refer his patients to us to get their shoes properly fitted,” Mader said.
Visit Cape May Running Company online at www.capemayrunning.co.
Nestled in the bright white storefront of 510 Carpenters Lane, is Quirk & Co. A newcomer from the past summer season, Quirk & Co. features local and regional artists.
Quirk & Co is on winter break and will re-open February 10 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Owner Heather Seaman enjoys the offseason because she gets to spend more time with customers and work on Jackson Street Designs, her custom design studio.
“I like the quieter months because it allows me more time to talk with visitors and locals while they shop,” Seaman said. “I also can work closer with customers on custom furniture pieces and window treatments.”
Visitors to Quirk & Co. will find a variety of Valentine’s Day and Easter items, as well as spring décor and gifts. A fresh batch of candles from Gold & Ivy will be in stock.
Quirk & Co. is known for their hand stenciled pillows and visitors will find a new line of the pillows in the shop when it re-opens. Other popular items include tote bags, table linens as well as other customer favorites.
“In the offseason I have made a little workshop space to paint some special pieces,” Seaman said. “During the summer the shop is packed with merchandise and people.”
Seaman is bringing in a furniture paint line to Quirk & Co. and will be doing paint demonstrations and classes.