People supporting people. That's what it's all about. Or at least, that's what it should be about. It is in Memphis. Lisa Toro recently opened the Broad Avenue coffee + retail shop City and State. Oh, did I fall in love upon first step. The space is refreshing and resonant of creativity and artistic appreciation, whether for the cup of pour-over brew or a timeless third-generation woodworker cutting board.
I'm infatuated by the gorgeous array of items, from bath salts to Nashville-based imogene + willie denim and Shotwell caramels. If you need a gift for yourself or a friend, City and State is where you'll go and score regularly. Hello, Mother's Day in one week.
On the other side of the storefront is a beautiful coffee counter with minimalist seating and decor. The brown sugar latté and mocha are both divine. I've heard the cortado is excellent. Of course, pastries are a usual accompaniment; though a recent collaboration with Porcellino's has elevated the food offerings to breakfast and lunch service.
On weeks one and two of the collaboration, Porcellino's has delivered chocolate croissants, morning buns, yogurt & granola, sweet corn muffins, turkey croissant sandwiches and The Goomba sandwiches. In the coming weeks, they're looking into surprise-filled menu expansions. Looks like I'll be here much more often.
Upon asking Lisa about the collaboration between two visionary, Memphis-loving, trendy coffee shops in town, here's her lovely recount:
"About two weeks ago, Matt Farmer stopped by for some coffee. He was complimentary and said he enjoyed the experience. The next day, he showed up with two boxes of beautiful Porcellino’s pastries and said they were interested in working with us on wholesale. Two days, later Chef Andy and Michael, along with Matt, came over to see the place for themselves. From the minute they walked in, there was no bravado and no ego. They showed nothing but respect for and interest in what we were doing.
As is true of many Memphians, I’d been dining in their restaurants for years and never had a bad meal. As a huge foodie, their reputation more than preceded them. We sat around the communal table in my three week old shop, and I listened as they offered up their staff and skill in providing food for City & State. Not only that, but the opportunity to work with them in the near future to come up with a few custom menu items.
I cannot say enough great things about the openness and support these two celebrated chefs and their team have given us in this new venture. They recognize, as do we, that the way to continue to move Memphis forward is through partnership and support across all in our community. They are a shining example of what is so incredible about this city. People supporting people."