Hashtag Cafe May Become Your New Favorite Coffee Shop

Good Bite

Pictured: The delicious peppermint mocha is a fan favorite at Hashtag Cafe. Photo taken by Laura Paquette.

Tucked away in the corner of a shopping center on the corner of Bee Ridge Rd. and S. Tuttle Ave., the #Cafe (pronounced “hashtag cafe") is a hidden jewel. Owners Bianca Bendraouia, her husband Elias Bendraouia and their son, Mohi Bendraouia, opened the cafe on Oct. 30, 2022.

German-born Bianca and Moroccan-born Elias are no strangers to cafe culture. Bianca grew up with kaffeeklatsch, the German practice of gathering in the afternoon to enjoy coffee and baked goods, while Elias became familiar with the warm hospitality of Moroccan cafes. While watching his father help a child in a Moroccan cafe, six-year-old Mohi first dreamt up the idea of owning a cafe. “I fell in love with the idea of helping others and the vibe of a coffee shop,” he says.

The family tossed around the idea of opening a modern cafe, and while brainstorming potential names, they were inspired by the trend of using hashtag as a prefix to various words. “We joked about having a #Cafe, and the name stuck,” says Bianca. After finding the perfect location, the business was born. The bright and airy space invites in patrons from all walks of life. Moroccans are frequent visitors, as well as people working remotely. “Mohi attracts young kids,” says Bianca, “but we also get old guys who come in to ‘sip and snitch.’”

The cafes offerings are as diverse as its clientele. Drawing from the family’s heritage, #Cafe serves authentic Moroccan mint tea, poured from silver teapots into tall glasses with intricate geometric patterns as well as German and Italian coffee. “I never drank coffee, but after experimenting with our coffee maker, I discovered how to create a balanced blend,” says Bianca. Throughout the process, Mohi taste-tested each batch, and now even Bianca is a coffee convert. The cafe currently offers hot teas and coffees and cold beverages like frappes.

“I ask everyone who comes in what they’re looking for,” says Mohi, eager to help patrons find something to suite their taste.

#Cafe also sells baked goods, like their napoleon pastry, homemade by a local baker. Many of the other pastries, like croissants and muffins, are baked in-house by the owners. Bianca  doesn’t believe in comparing the business to other coffee houses. “Every single cafe is special and is here to serve the community,” she says.

After two months in business, the #Cafe is a buzzing community hub. The owners greet each guest, many by name, with genuine enthusiasm and friendliness, creating a welcoming atmosphere. “In the future,” says Bianca, “we hope to continue being an awesome place where everyone can have a good time.”

#Cafe is located at 2781 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit hashtagcafesrq.com or follow the cafe on Instagram @hashtagcafesrq.

Pictured: The delicious peppermint mocha is a fan favorite at Hashtag Cafe. Photo taken by Laura Paquette.

#Café

« View The Tuesday Jan 10, 2023 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Jazz Brunch at Hamlets Eatery

Jazz Brunch at Hamlets Eatery

Feb 2, 2023

 Bijou Garden Cafe Debuts New Winter Menu

Bijou Garden Cafe Debuts New Winter Menu

Jan 31, 2023

LobsterCraft Highlights Connecticut State Sandwich

LobsterCraft Highlights Connecticut State Sandwich

Laura Paquette | Jan 31, 2023

Fords Garage Introduces Comfort Foods with a Twist

Ford’s Garage Introduces Comfort Foods with a Twist

Jan 31, 2023