CoffeeCo: 40 Years of Coffee, Food & Community

Forty years is a long time for any business to both endure and succeed. CoffeeCo achieved that milestone in December. 

The breakfast menu includes favorites such as French toast (below) and a selection of sandwiches.

“It’s amazing,” says current owner, John Smucker, of CoffeeCo’s achievement. “Chuck Williams opened the first CoffeeCo in Lancaster Shopping Center, a location we still have today. I’ve been told that in 1983, CoffeeCo was the first coffee shop in Lancaster.” 

John and his wife, Heidi, are the fourth owners of CoffeeCo, having purchased it in 2015. “We’ve built on the foundation that was laid by previous owners – great food, great drinks and a warm, friendly atmosphere,” he says. “CoffeeCo is a place of community; we aim for excellence and friendliness – it’s about every guest, every visit. We want to play a little part in making Lancaster County a great place to live.”

CoffeeCo now has five locations, all of which offer both table service and take-out. The newest location in East Hempfield Township (across from Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center on State Road) opened in December. It joins locations in Lancaster Shopping Center; New Holland; Mill Creek Square (along Lincoln Highway East) and Lititz. “We have regulars who visit us as frequently as every day, but we also have a number of first-time guests, especially in the Mill Creek Square location,” John remarks.

While the layout at each location differs slightly, the capacity is uniform, accommodating about 70 guests. The warm tones of the décor create an inviting ambiance. Outdoor seating is available at all locations during warm-weather months. 

CoffeeCo’s newest location on State Road in East Hempfield Township opened in December.

As John was sure to note, CoffeeCo is about more than coffee – breakfast and lunch fare is served. In fact, breakfast is served all day except at the Lancaster Shopping Center location, where the menu transitions to lunch at 11:30 a.m. He also takes pride in the fact that as many menu items as possible are made in-house; ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible and include products from such companies as Pequea Valley Yogurt, Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop and Maplehofe Dairy, among others. “When we bought CoffeeCo, there was an extensive food menu; we’ve built on that foundation. We do look at menu items, and if something isn’t selling well, we will take it off the menu,” he says.

The Swiss chicken spinach salad also entails bacon, tomatoes, onions and housemade poppyseed dressing.

Despite periodically editing the menus, there are plenty of options. For breakfast, you can indulge in breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, French toast or pancakes. Classic dishes include eggs made-to-order and creamed chipped beef. Or take the healthy route and savor steel-cut or house-made oatmeal or a fruit platter. Baked items such as croissants and muffins are also available.  

Popular lunch items include soups, salads, burgers and signature sandwiches such as the gourmet chicken salad melt and The 30 (grilled turkey breast, bacon, tomato, avocado and melted Muenster cheese with CoffeeCo dill ranch dressing on a grilled pretzel roll). Vegetarian items are available, as well. The dessert menu features peanut butter pie, grilled stickys and seasonal specials such as brownies and scones. There’s also a kid’s menu. A catering menu is available, as well. 

Design-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches are the perfect comfort food.

“We’re conscious of price – we want to be affordable but also have a great product and pay our staff well,” John stresses. For example, a brisket sandwich was removed from the menu when the price of brisket escalated, making the sandwich too expensive for both the restaurant and customers. CoffeeCo employs a number of long-term staff members, some of whom have been with the café for more than four years. “We’ve worked hard to make this a place where staff can have a career. We want to show our staff that the restaurant industry can offer great career opportunities,” John remarks.

As its name alludes, CoffeeCo’s menu includes a wide range of coffees (including bottomless in-house coffee), coffee drinks (cappuccino, espresso and lattes), as well as drinks such as chai tea, London Fog, smoothies, hot chocolate and ice coffee. There’s also a seasonal beverage menu. Coffee-blend, espresso and decaf beans are roasted specifically for CoffeeCo, with the recipes being proprietary to the company. In addition, whole beans and ground coffee are available to purchase at all locations. 

The omelette selection includes a design-your-own option. The dish is accompanied by a choice of two sides. Coffee, of course, is the perfect accompaniment.

CoffeeCo has five locations: Lancaster Shopping Center, 1639 Lititz Pike, 717-299-7118; 2151 State Rd., Landisville, 717-844-6473; 245 Bloomfield Dr., Lititz, 717-344-5959; Mill Creek Square, 2350 Lincoln Hwy. East, Lancaster, 717-283-4350: and 504 East Main St., New Holland, 717-354-5980. Hours are 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday. Note: On Sundays, New Holland opens at 7 a.m., while Lancaster Shopping Center is closed. More information is available at coffeecocafe.com. 

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