Finding a place for a quiet business meeting in a small state where everyone knows each other can be a tall order.
We asked executives and officials from all over Delaware to weigh in with their favorite spots for casual business meetups.
Sen. Chris Coons
The senator has favorite spots up and down the state.
“Delaware has some fantastic places for us to have some coffee and good conversation,” Coons said. “When I’m at home, some of my go-tos include Kozy Korner, Libby’s and the new Café De La Coeur. In Kent County, Governor’s Café is a can’t-miss. In Sussex County, it’s Bethany Drifting Ground.”
Christopher Buccini, Buccini/Pollin Group
His go-to place is the new Starbucks his company brought to town.
“I really enjoy taking meetings at the new Starbucks on Market, not only for the great product, but because it has great space for both larger and smaller meetings, and because it is conveniently located downtown for both the business and nonprofit communities with which I am meeting,” Buccini said.
Scott Kammerer, SoDel Concepts
The restaurateur picked Ismet Bullut’s Sunrise Restaurant in Dewey Beach, which has been in operation for 32 years.
“My all-time favorite spot to meet in our area is the Sunrise in Dewey Beach. It is more a place to get breakfast than just coffee, but it is the quintessential old-school breakfast joint, which I think is why I love it so much,” Kammerer said.
“The servers there have been working there forever. They have a ton of breakfast options, good coffee, and just a great old-school dinerish vibe. It is a great place to go with coworkers for an informal meeting, but is also an interesting place to bring business people not so familiar with the area.
“It surprises people in a good way, and, if I can tell they love it like I do, it probably means we will work well together,” Kammerer said.
Kent Wissinger, Wilmington Trust
Like most of us, he has favorites near his office and near his Hockessin home.
“For business meetings, I tend to go with LOMA Coffee. There are closer coffee shops to my office, but LOMA is worth the walk. LOMA’s coffee and tea are really good, but the main draw for me is the vibe. It feels more like a neighborhood coffee shop — appropriate for a casual business meeting or just relaxing with a good cup of joe,” Wissinger said.
“On weekends, I split my caffeine fixes between Perfect Cup Café and Drip Café, both in Hockessin,” he added.
Bernice Whaley, Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO)
Brew HaHa!’s new Greenville shop is her place for hot herbal teas.
“I like its layout, various seating choices. If I attend a meeting early in the day or later in the day, I have the opportunity to run into other key partners in the work that we do at DEDO, as well as business leaders that we support,” she said.
Bill Freeborn, Delaware Contractors Association
His new favorite place is also the Brew HaHa! in Greenville.
“The new Brew HaHa! is cozy, comfortable and provides plenty of seating options. Plus, the back porch on a nice morning can’t be beat,” he said.
When he’s in Trolley Square, he gets his cup of joe at Brew HaHa! there. Ditto when he’s on Main Street in Newark.
Freeborn also likes Panera Bread in Fairfax Shopping Center when he’s in North Wilmington: “The booths are great meeting places, especially for a one-on-one meeting.”
Rob Buccini, Buccini/Pollin Group:
He often meets at Starbucks on Market and at the new at De La Coeur in Forty Acres.
He likes the menu and space at Starbucks, and he said the food at De La Coeur is great and the staff is friendly and fun.
Cortney Klein, WSFS:
Her place is convenient to her Delaware Avenue office.
“I would have to recommend Brew HaHa! — the WSFS marketing team’s favorite spot for coffee. It has a chic and urban vibe, not to mention delicious food and drink,” she said.
Howard Fortunato, Home Builders Association of Delaware
He meets associates at the Governor’s Café, a 19th-century home turned coffee spot.
“I like the Governor’s Café in Dover as an informal place to have one-on-one coffee meetings. I have been there numerous times. As an old house, it’s a warm, inviting place to chat or grab a sandwich,” Fortunato said.
Laurie Bick-Jensen, Wilmington University
She has favorites in Wilmington and Newark.
“I have a couple of favorite coffee spots for meetings. I like the BrewHaHa! in Trolley Square, especially in nice weather, because you can sit outside and talk. It’s also nice for indoor meetings, too, but the outside is the real draw for me,” Bick-Jensen said.
“If I’m meeting someone in Newark for a meeting near the university, I really love the chai they serve up at Brewed Awakenings. Next to the Tazo chai served at Starbucks, their’s is the best I’ve had in a long time,” she said. “It’s a funky, college student-oriented space, but my meetings are ‘inspired’ by their good food and, of course, the chai.”
Alex Pires, attorney, entrepreneur and restaurateur
Pires picks two of his own establishments, which he said he thought would be funny because one of them doesn’t actually serve coffee.
“In the winters, it’s Jimmy’s Grill in Rehoboth, which I own, because the coffee is cheap and I’m cheap. It’s $1.25,” Pires said. “In the summer, I go to the Bottle & Cork because I don’t have to stand in line anywhere. A lot of people who go to the Cork will say, ‘But they don’t have coffee there.’ That’s right. We don’t. We have a little machine we use to make coffee for ourselves.”
Mark Brindle, M&T Bank
He has favorites in all the areas where he meets.
“I have one favorite, Drip Café in Hockessin, and a couple of others I … use for meetings, depending on geography,” he said.
Brindle also likes BrewHaHa! on Delaware Avenue: “Great little conference room you can sign up to reserve.”
He also likes both Panera Bread locations on Concord Pike and Purebread in Greenville for meetings.
“All are great, but Drip has a very relaxing, welcoming and ‘homey’ feel to it,” Brindle said.
Dr. Nicholas J. Petrelli, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care Health System:
The doctor didn’t pick a spot.
“I don’t do coffee or tea — takes too much time away from my work.” he said.
This article originally appeared on DelawareBusinessTimes.com.