.Firefly Coffee Raises the Bar on Bagels

Caitlin Parker wasn’t happy with the bagel options in Santa Cruz, so she started making her own.

She opened Firefly Coffee House as a coffee destination on lower Pacific Avenue and eventually decided to incorporate bagels. After moving to Lake Tahoe and opening sister café Dragonfly Coffee, she sold Firefly to Angela Tang, who has maintained the homey, comfortable feel of the café and continued the homemade bagel legacy. 

What lead you to buy this café?

TANG: We were in San Francisco, my husband and I, and when I got pregnant, a colleague of mine let us know about a coffee shop in Santa Cruz that was for sale. My husband immigrated from Cuba, and before you know it, I’m in my third trimester and buying a coffee shop. My husband was still trying to get used to American life, and there we were. 

You got a new shop at the same time as a new child? How was that?

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Yeah, it was a challenge. But it’s cool now, because every time I’m in the shop, people ask me how my daughter is doing, because they met her when she was in the womb. Every now and then, she comes to the shop with me. 

What’s special about your bagels?

People love that we boil them and we do everything in house. Firefly is a tiny but mighty little shop, so when people find out that we make them in house and boil them, it leaves an impression. We can make up to 80 bagels per day, and depending on the day, they sell out pretty quick. 

Any menu expansions plans?

We’ve kept the menu pretty much the same since we bought it. We wanted to stay true to the offering and what Firefly has been. We toyed around with expanding the hours to get a beer and wine license, but that’s not really come to fruition given that we have a child. Because my husband is Cuban, sometimes we will do Cuban espresso and will make Cuban cortados. 



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