.At home at Norma Jeans

A Caring Concept

Cathy DeLeon started working at Lipton in 1978, and says her many years spent in management there gave her the insight and momentum to go back to school and get a degree in business.

She also had a passion for baking she chose to nurture, taking classes at Cabrillo College to level up her pastry game. Her combined baking and business acumen made her the perfect candidate to found Norma Jeans in 2005.

DeLeon describes the ambiance as cozy with French accents, welcoming and relaxing—“like walking into your own house.” Local coffee and loose-leaf tea complement handcrafted pastries based on DeLeon’s own recipes, creations and inspirations. Morning buns with croissant dough and multiple layers of cinnamon/sugar flavor and almond-forward bear claws are favorites.

The kouign amann is a special offering, a Basque country pastry layered with butter and sugar that is flaky and like pudding inside. They also offer breakfast burritos with classic filling options and customizable breakfast sandwiches on either a croissant or bagel. Hours are Monday-Friday 5:30am-2pm, Saturday/Sunday 6:30am-4pm.

How do you think of Norma Jeans?

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CATHY DELEON: I don’t feel like I own the coffee shop, it more belongs to the community. Most of the people that come here come every day, and we know their order as soon as they pull up outside in their car. My patrons also feel comfortable enough to help with the business and step in if needed. It’s like home in here; I feel like my customers are my family. During Covid was a great example: We had lines every day to keep us afloat, and I wouldn’t be here if not for that. I felt so grateful and humbled by the community support. I feel like we’re the heart of the community, there’s so much love here.

What makes a great pastry?

CD: The passion that goes into it, and the desire to give the best product possible. And it’s also about high quality ingredients. I want to give our customers the best that I can do, as if I was a customer myself. People work really hard for their money and I want to honor that by giving them pastries made with real love. I treat my customers like they’re special, because they are.

8043 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 831-685-1236; normajeanscoffee.square.site


  1. Cathy is really LOVED by many.

    She is one of the hardest workers I know… day in, day out, rain or shine, there she is.

    We are HONORED to have her in our Community.

    I often joke comparing Norma Jeans with the old TV show CHEERS – “where everybody knows your name”

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  2. Do what you love. Whether it’s pastry and coffee, growing food or flowers, building roads or houses…It doesn’t matter – what matters is that this is what feeds your soul. Kathy was so brave during Covid. She is the poster child for grace under fire. Norma Jean’s is an Aptos institution. Long may she wave.

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  3. Cathy’s pastries are bar none the best in town. Her prices are beyond reasonable and the ambiance is great. I never go in and don’t see someone I know. It is like home:)

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  4. We have learned to love Norma Jeans, and Cathy for sure is most special!
    She has the best pastries in town no doubt! It’s almost like being in Paris enjoying a homemade chocolate croissant and sipping an Espresso, yum!
    And then the dog calendar on the wall is grande!
    Chaos and Chapo are regulars who love to have coffee before their beach walk!
    Start your day at Cathy’s Café and the day gets better by the minute!
    We love and adore you!

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  5. Although I do not live in Aptos anymore, I am so glad to see Cathy receive the recognition she so well deserves! Loved walking into her shop taking in coffee scents & delicious pastries! X mer

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