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European Cafe co-owner Uliana Komodi stands in front of 100-year-old double French doors leading into the cafe’s new space.
European Cafe co-owner Uliana Komodi stands in front of 100-year-old double French doors leading into the cafe’s new space.

European Cafe rents downtown space for baking classes

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Last edited 12:40 p.m., Jan. 24, 2018

Sisters Khrystyna Savva and Uliana Komodi have considered offering baking classes at their co-owned downtown business European Cafe LLC for a while. Their dream was realized when an adjacent 280-square-foot space opened for rent with their current landlord, Casey Architecture owner Allen Casey.

Connected by double French doors to their current 1,540 square feet at 207 Park Central East, Komodi said the new space will include six individual workstations, where participants can make a variety of baked goods – including macarons, bread and other small desserts.

“We always have people asking about it, so we always wanted to do it and the space opened up,” she said. “We tried to do it before, but it didn’t feel like it was the right time for us. Now that business is steadier and operates independent of me, it was just the right time.”

Casey said when former tenant ArtistSignal Inc. moved out to work from a home office, he saved the space for European Cafe.

“They have been talking about wanting to do that for a few years, so we’ve held it for them when this opportunity came up and here it is now,” he said.

Komodi said the space may be additionally used for tea parties and children’s events.

“It’s very versatile. I think it gives us a lot of possibilities,” she said. “Just as long as we’re having fun and baking, we’re good.”

Casey said there aren’t many structural renovations to prepare the space for European Cafe. Komodi said most of the work involves rewiring to add more power outlets, as well as installing a sink.

Komodi said since the cafe owners started renting the property nearly two months ago, the business has paid $7,000 for renovations and equipment purchases. She expects an additional $3,000 to finish purchasing cooking items before the space is ready for class. Casey and Komodi declined to disclose European Cafe’s lease terms.

Komodi said the cafe will post schedules soon to begin classes in about three weeks, allowing time to test class structures and recipes before accepting students. Classes, she said, will cost approximately $100 for macaroon instruction and $75 for simpler recipes. Each session will include smaller projects, as well.

“If it’s something with dough that has to rise, there will be things with small desserts to do in the meantime,” she said. “There is always a lot involved. It’s not going to just be one thing at each class.”

There will be about three classes per week and Komodi said the sisters plan to hire an additional barista to their full-time staff of seven. European Cafe’s 2017 annual revenue was $230,000, she said

Savva and Komodi opened the cafe on Jan. 13, 2014. It’s co-owned with Komodi’s husband, Joe. Gelato Mio formerly rented the space.

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