NORWOOD PARK — At October Café in Norwood Park, autumn never ends.
The fall-friendly cafe opened Aug. 20 at 6046 N. Avondale Ave., where the decorative pumpkins and orange-splattered interior harness the fall vibes year-round.
An autumn theme was chosen because of the owner’s love for the season, and because of the significance it plays in her own love story.
The family-owned shop is operated by Audrey Borden and managed by her fiancé Michelle Gonzalez, a Norwood Park native. Gonzalez’s brother, Joel, manages communications for the business with included support from the siblings’ parents.
Borden and Gonzalez fell in love in October 2019 and are set to get married this October, the couple said in a press release.
October Café showcases what are sometimes considered seasonal flavors like maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin at the forefront of their coffee and pastry selections.
Its current line-up of specialty drinks includes the “Maple Forest,” a latte with maple syrup, cinnamon powder and cardamon, a pumpkin chai tea latte with milk, cinnamon and vanilla and the “Cuddle Weather,” a hot chocolate with hazelnut and caramel. All drinks are available hot or cold.
Of course, the cafe also serves up its take on a pumpkin spice latte. The “We Fell In Love In October” special allows customers to sample each fall-theme drink.
After finding a prime spot in the Gonzalezes’ home neighborhood, October Café has gained a following despite opening in the summer.
“We found a location that was just what we thought we needed and our whole family made that dream come true,” Joel Gonzalez said. “On top of that, the community just really took us in with open arms and everyone has come in to support us.”
The cafe sources goods from Defloured Gluten Free Bakery in Andersonville and Dark Matter Coffee in Ukrainian Village, and Norwood Park neighbors are happy to have these options even closer to home, Gonzalez said.
On top of pastries from Defloured, October Café also serves avocado toast, hummus toast, a pesto panini and oatmeal. A kids menu has peanut butter and jelly sandwiches plus a grilled chesse.
The LGBTQ+-friendly cafe, which can seat about 30 patrons, is committed to welcoming all through their doors and also provides vegan and gluten-free food options.
As Norwood Park natives, the Gonzalezes are already working on opportunities to immerse the coffee shop within the community itself. This month, the cafe is launching “Taft Tuesday” discounts for nearby Taft High School students and faculty. Future partnerships include fundraisers for other local elementary schools in the area, Joel Gonzalez said.
“We just really want to be localized and to support the community we call home and that has been supporting us since we opened,” he said.
October Café is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
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