Café Gabrielle: Let me feed you

By ASHLEY KAPSCH | For the Independent

What is comparably cozy to a home-cooked meal? Café Gabrielle.

Gabrielle Freeland is dedicated to improving Port Orchard one no-preservative, handmade sandwich at a time.

The fourth incarnation of Café Gabrielle opened in February in downtown Port Orchard, replacing the empty Morningside Bakery.

Freeland, 61, welcomes young and old to venture inside her new business.

Beyond the white tables and chairs arranged outside, the open lobby and minimum yet stylish décor brings to mind the European cafés found in old black-and-white feature films.

To enhance the sophisticated furnishings, Freeland and her crew welcome patrons "home" with open arms.

Whether she's in the front of the house chatting with guests, in the back whipping together her own chicken salad with pineapple, or throwing her homemade meatloaf into the oven, no one can deny the inviting atmosphere.

Her establishment's menu is what Port Orchard needed, said Freeland, adding that it contains, "A good sandwich on homemade bread, a good soup, espresso bar and bakery.”

Freeland said all of their food is made in-store, using produce from local farmers with a variety of glucose-free products including flour-less chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies.

They have asked Ootopia — a Bremerton coffee roasting company — to develop "Gabbie's Blend", a special blend for their well-stocked espresso bar.

Despite the variety of scratch-made baked goods, Freeland holds firm that they are far more than a “mere pastry shop.”

“We are a little bakery but we’re a café first,” she proclaimed. “Let me feed you a sandwich on homemade bread.”

Café Gabrielle also offers Snoqualmie Ice Cream.

With a smile and fast hands, she feeds the town, giving the same amount of love and attention to the manual laborers as she does the political figures that rush her little store for lunch.

Freeland said her favorite thing about cooking for the people again is the people themselves and the town she continuously works to enrich.

“I guess the main thing is just thank you… I want to thank the community for supporting me again and my product, and knowing that it’s something they’re enjoying is really gratifying to me.”

Café Gabrielle, located at 707 Bay St., is open 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Starting this summer, Freeland said the café will remain open an extra two hours to accommodate the warmer weather and the new Port Orchard Public Market coming soon to Bay Street.

Providing an additional highlight to our celebrated downtown, a visit to Café Gabrielle is a must.


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