Local Business Q&A: Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee


Douglas Zumbachs behind his coffee shop's counter. Credit: Catherine Gorey.

For today’s Q&A with a local business owner this holiday shopping season, we hear from New Canaan resident Doug Zumbach of Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee on Pine Street.

Here’s our exchange.

Chief Leon Krolikowski (L), Officer Ron Bentley (C, facing) and Capt. John DiFederico (R) of the New Canaan Police Department chats with locals during NCPD’s debut “Coffee With a Cop” gathering, Sept. 7, 2016 at Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaanite: We talked in the early weeks of the pandemic last year, and your coffee shop at Pine and Grove was among the local businesses that really had to change its operations at that time. When we connected again in July, you were still looking for some parts of the business to return. Where do things stand now?

Doug Zumbach: Well here at Zumbach’s, business is wonderful. Just a coupe of weeks before Thanksgiving, right through the Thanksgiving holiday, right now, right up to the Christmas holiday, we are selling a lot of coffee. We are seeing a lot of people come in, more times than once for cups of coffee.

L-R: New Canaan Police Officers Emily Clark, Erin McCarthy, Giancarlo Vincenzi and Joe Schinella at the Jan. 31, 2020 “Coffee with a Cop” at Zumbach’s. Credit: Michael Dinan

You’re probably one of the most plugged-in local business owners-on-site, with how many people drop by the coffee shop and meet up to talk. What’s your sense of how local people are dealing with this lingering pandemic?

They’re out and about. They seem to be shopping a lot. There seems to be good spirits and our gift coffee boxes are flying off the shelf. We are shipping them all over. We are sending eight to California today, so the gift-giving seems to be up as well . So I have no complaints, it seems to be a good holiday and I wish that for everyone. 

Officer Ron Bentley of the New Canaan Police Department chats with locals during NCPD’s debut “Coffee With a Cop” gathering, Sept. 7, 2016 at Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee. Credit: Michael Dinan

What is your sense of the downtown this holiday shopping season, are we starting to get back to something that looks more normal?

Absolutely. I’ve attempted to go shopping a couple of times—you cant find parking, of course, so you end up parking a distance away—but every store that I’ve been in, there have been shoppers. I’m a strong believer in shopping local. There are customers milling around and shopping. It looks strong from what I see. Also, the restaurant businesses, the ones that survived the COVID pandemic and remained, they are coming back strong and they are ordering a lot of coffee. They seem to be very busy on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. From my standpoint, and I am going out in town and eating dinner in the restaurants myself, they seem to be doing very well.

Caffeine & Carburetors, Oct. 20, 2019 at Waveny. Credit: Michael Dinan

There was a very strong turnout at the October Caffeine & Carburetors in Waveny. What can people expect for 2022? 

We are going to have four shows. I think we had such a strong positive turnout, anyone who missed it I recommend going to to caffeineandcarburetors.com and seeing the videos. It was a large show [at Waveny]. We are currently working with the Police Department and town looking at the four dates [for 2022]. The three [down]town dates I don’t want to announce yet. They are somewhat set. We are having a little bit of an issue with Waveny Park. The size of the event, some of the town officials felt was a little large. I disagree, I thought my volunteer staff of 30 people handled it very, very well. There seems to be a little bit of an issue with the grass. That’s understandable. A week later, with a little bit of rain the grass was fine.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee?

Just wish everyone hoppy holidays. Get out and shop. Be happy

[Past installments of our Q&A series with local businesses this holiday season can be found here.]

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