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Sweet Melissa coffee -- pushing her luck

  • v

I am a regular at Sweet Melissa's in Park Slope for a normal cup of American coffee. It has a nice fullness and the nutty flavor that's reminiscent to what Dunkin Donuts coffee used to taste like when it was good. So I didn't mind a few months ago when they raised the price of a small cup from $1.50 to $1.75. But today I went in and they had raised the price to $2.25. I know food prices have gone up based largely on fuel issues, but a 50% hike in price in the past 6 months is pure greed in my eyes, especially in this economy. Call me a cheapskate, but I'm going to have to stop going in protest. While I'm ranting, I will also add that, while I enjoyed their coffee, I have found most of the pastry/sweets there incredibly overrated. Their almond croissant is pretty good, but the muffins, both sweet and savory, taste mainly of baking soda and are so dry you could choke on them, and the cookies are okay but hardly worth the crazy prices. I'll miss the coffee and convenience, but I'll have to find myself a nearby alternative.

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  1. For all the smashing on Starbucks, even their tall cup is only 1.90. But there is a Dunkin Donuts on Carroll, if you feel nostalgic.

    1. They are banking on people putting up with the increase by taking advantage of the desirability of "one stop shopping" I have never had their coffee but I agree that their baked goods are by no means worth the price. I'm surprised they are still afloat. If 'McCoffee' really takes off, people will pick up their coffee with their 2 for$3 breakfast sandwiches and you can probably kiss Starbucks good bye as well.

      1. Has there been some kind of radical increase in coffee prices in the last few months? Some mishap with the coffee crop? I usually buy my coffee whole bean and make it at home, and in the last few months, it's gone from $11/lb to $13/lb. That's for gorilla coffee at Cobblestone Foods, btw. Not 50% but annoying.

        And while we're on the subject, has anyone seen gorilla coffee elsewhere in the neighborhood for cheaper?

        5 Replies
        1. re: oolah

          Oolah -- I believe that the coffee shop on Union and Hicks (water-side of the BQE) sells Gorilla coffee, but I don't know what they charge.

          1. re: Puppimus

            Boerum Hill Food Co also sells it, but I dont remember the price, havent bought it in a while (esp since I got into the MUD coffee beans that the skateboard shop's cafe sells).

            1. re: Nehna

              I like the MUD too, but those beans are $15/lb, which is just too over the top for me.

              1. re: oolah

                oolah - MUD coffee is actually only $9/bag; at least that's the price at the truck. The website quotes $10/bag. I think the bags are 14oz, so not quite a pound, but the price per pound would work out to 11-12 bucks, still cheaper than Gorilla (and better in my opinion)

                1. re: Manitoba

                  Maybe I'm misremembering, but I could swear that was the price they charged at the skateboard shop that sells the beans on Smith St. Could be just that particular shop charging a huge markup from the truck too.

                  $9/bag is totally reasonable, but I rarely buy direct from the truck.

        2. I could not agree more that everything in SM is overrated. I am always amazed by the number of customers in the PS and CH/CG stores.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarapeater

            The prices are really high, but I must say that the $28 expresso cheesecake that I brought to Mother's Day brunch was a HUGE hit with my family.

          2. Cranberry's in Brooklyn Heights charges $3.50 for a large iced coffee! While I love the idea of a neighborhood bakery, that price is completely ridiculous when Connecticut Muffin charges $2.75 for the same thing.

            1. One thing I have always enjoyed there are the pots of home made herbal tea. I think they offer a spicy orange and spicy rasberry.

              1. I don't remember how SM's coffee is, because I haven't been there in yonks--every time I set foot in the CG location to grab something to go, they would screw up my order (wrong muffin, wrong tea, beverage prepared incorrectly, etc.). So I just gave up.

                And ITA on the baked goods being overrated.

                3 Replies
                1. re: missmodular

                  If so many people have issues with Sweet Melissa then take it up with Angry Wade.

                2. Everything they sell costs twice as much as it ought to.

                  1. i went in the other day at the CH/CG store, a friends' request (she is new to the neighborhood), and ordered the scone to go. since it was a Saturday night at around 8:30pm I got two scones for $2. I found the scones to be perfectly executed, and quite the steal.

                    However, looking at the other prices in the pastry display, I probably got the only one.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: abr269

                      The coffee at Cranberry's is overpriced and below average. The place is depressing too. Tazza and Siggy's and CM are far better options close by

                    2. Oh sigh. I go to SM in PS for breakfast and their prices are KILLING me but I'm freelance and I like a decent atmosphere to start the day. A mug of coffee, sit down, is 2.75! (and their oatmeal went up a dollar I think.) Perhaps their coffee is controlled by OPEC,

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: angvou

                        Try supporting coffee shops that's don't take advantage of their customers. There is no reason coffee should be so high. Especially bad coffee!

                        1. re: heightsfamily

                          Delicious on the Slope (President below 5th) charges a buck for a cup of coffee. If you get there before 9 a.m., you can get a muffin and a cup of coffee for that amount.

                      2. Sweet Melissa's baked goods are fine, coffee is eh, and I agree that the prices are just a buck or two too high. Frankly, you'd be better off walking a block and a half south to Caputo's Bakery(*) on the other side of Court, just south of Sackett - their coffee and iced coffee are my favorite in the Southern part of Cobble Hill, and their cookies and pastries and stuff are great too. It's an old-style bakery in the style of Court Street Pastry, so you won't get fancy stuff like at SM, but what you will get is good.

                        (*) This is NOT the Caputo's usually mentioned on this board - that one is a deli and food store farther down Court, this is a friendly little bakery.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cazique

                          Yes. This is a very solid Italian bakery for the bread staples. Everything I've ever purchased from there was worth the trip. I particularly like their lard bread.

                          1. re: pizmet

                            I don't actually drink coffee, but my SO drinks a lot and he claims that Caputo's coffee is very good. Their breakfast pastries are decent, I wouldn't call them stellar. don't like their cookies, but the breads are decent and the lard bread is really good.

                            however, you can't sit down in Caputo's. If the OP wants to sit down, she could try D'Amico's (Court btw Sackett and DeGraw), even closer to SM than Caputo's. They have improved the quality of their brewed coffee (despite selling excellent beans, their brewed coffee used to be terrible) and have little tables in the back. they also sell decent bagels with CC, pastries, etc. I have a friend who likes to work in there. it's a laid-back, old school CG vibe.

                        2. My favorite cup of coffee is found at the deli/lunch counter at Fairway. For only $1.00, I get a great cup of cup, then sit by the water and look out at the Statue of Liberty.
                          Great coffee, great view & quiet reflection with my coffee what more can I ask for?
                          I also agree that Melissa'a baked goods are over priced, dry, and not worth the money or calories.