One step into Puccino's, owned and operated by Mike and Gwen Williams, and you get the comforting feeling of familiar territory. There are wide booths, Internet access stations and tongue-in-cheek renderings of Michelangelo figures sporting various espressos and lattés. We have 2 locations conveniently located at 5200 Veterans Blvd. and in the Lakeside Shopping Center Annex at the corner of 17th Street and Severn Avenue.
Something's different here. Maybe it's the unique and wildly popular frozen cappuccinos that are the café's namesake and flagship beverage. Maybe it's the zeppole (Italian beignets) being dished up hot from the kitchen, perhaps any number of small details that give Puccino's the small, locally owned and operated business feel, that sets it apart from the chains and corporate conglomerates that dominate the New Orleans coffee market. Whatever it is, you get quality and consistency, and you don't have to hate yourself for supporting the big bad guys. This idea could go places.
In addition to its coffees and espresso drinks, Puccino's offers a variety of panini sandwiches and salads, a soup of the day and a Sicilian muffaletta. With its unique menu (the afore-mentioned frozen cappuccino is a real standout among Puccino's peers) and its slogan - "The Real Coffee of Italy" - the café has managed to appeal to all walks of life, while tapping into the rich heritage of the world's finest coffee makers.
Mike and Gwen Williams have noticed that Puccino's customer base reflects all ages, male and female. There is even an Italian language club meeting there Saturday mornings, and lots of students and others are coming from the movies or looking for a place to go after dinner."
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