After working at Pastiche Fine Desserts on Federal Hill, Sage Café’s owner, Jill Ingham, knew that opening a café was her dream. But it took a while before it became a reality. “I worked at Pastiche about 15 years ago,” Ingham says. “I was there for a few years, and that’s where I got my desire to open my own café. I have always been passionate about this. I’ve always known that this is what I wanted to do.”
Between her time at Pastiche and opening Sage Café, Ingham started a family. Once her children grew a little older, she decided to pursue her passion, and the response has been excellent. “Riverside has been awesome,” Ingham says. “The whole community has really supported us.”
With sweet crepes like Nutella and strawberries or blueberry and honey, and savory crepes featuring eggs and cheddar, or spinach, tomato, onion and feta, as well as an assortment of baked goods, including bagels, Danish, muffins and scones, and artisan crafted gifts, it’s easy to see why the response has been enthusiastic from the start.
Sage Café opened in March. Located in the former Providence Coffee Roasters space in Riverside, Ingham purchased the equipment from the previous owners, freshened the space.
“The PTO has used the room and a knitting group has used it. If there are larger families who come in, they can book it so that they can all sit together,” Ingham says. Sage Café also has a community board where people and organizations can post information about upcoming events, and where local artists and artisans can post information about their work and services.
Sage Café serves a number of gluten-free items, including a recently developed gluten-free crepe recipe, along with other pastries and baked goods, like gluten-free chocolate whoopie pies. Coastal Roasters supplies the café’s coffee and herbal tea blends are created by a friend of Ingham’s, Jen Lashua, a certified herbalist whose company is based in Vermont. “We serve Love and Tea teas,” Ingham says. “They’re wonderful herbal teas and they come in a gorgeous container.” Lashua creates the illustrations for the containers and tea may be purchased to take home or to give as a gift.
Whenever possible, Ingham works with local producers to source goods for the café, a philosophy that extends to the décor. “We’ve started featuring local artists’ work on the walls here, and we’ll change that work out every month,” Ingham says.
Between the appealing menu, the welcoming, community-focused attitude and the support of local producers and artisans, the realization of Ingham’s dream is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.