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No End in Sight for the Trail's End Cafe

By S. Mathur

Tracy Katz had two missions in mind when she set out to open the Trail's End Café in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Open for just over a year now (dating back to May 2016), the Trail's End Café is defined by its cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Katz wanted to not only create a local space where neighbors, friends and visitors could gather to mingle, work, play or just find a comfy place to relax, but also to partner with other local businesses through sourcing to ensure the highest of quality. Katz has succeeded in all accounts, creating a third space for patrons between work and home.

"We enjoy seeing this happen when people stop in and find themselves chatting with other people they may not have otherwise known," Katz said. "As a society, we live the majority of our time in our home and work spaces and the café provides that 'third' space to connect with others outside our daily routine."

Locally-sourced goods at Trail's End come from all over the Philadelphia area. Sweet and savory pastries are delivered daily from High Point Bakery in Mount Airy, Green Street Roasters coffee beans come in from South Philly, jams and jellies from Fifth of a Farm come from across town, breads are baked at Baker Street Bread in Chestnut Hill, and various cheeses are procured from a number of surrounding communities with one as local at Merion, just a mile up the road.

"I love the cheese plate," Katz said. "I've met all of the cheese makers and really appreciate their craft. It's so fun to bring their cheeses to my neighbors and watch as they experience the fresh local flavors."

When Katz thinks of enjoying a cup of coffee or tea with lunch, the last thing on her mind is rushing through it. The staff at Trail's End Café certainly maintains an urgency to ensure patrons receive their orders quickly, but beyond that, there's no rush for people to move out quickly from within the walls which boast the works of local artists.

Above all else, Katz enjoys making people feel seen in the restaurant; it makes them feel like more than just a customer, she said. Trail's End Cafe also creates simple house made items to contribute to the sense of homemade. A rotating selection of paninis, soups, quiche, and small salads completes the menu.

"People who come in often find themselves unexpectedly slowing down to enjoy a few minutes to relax and connect from the hectic of their day," she said.

Everything from garden clubs to groups of ukulele players make Trail's End Café their home for gatherings, meetings and simple afternoons out. There are organized books clubs, game nights, local author talks, live music and a knitting workshop as well.

Katz said she is most proud of the monthly "Community Charity Chats," which feature an opportunity for patrons to learn about local nonprofit organizations and how they can get involved by donating or volunteering.

Trail's End Café is located at 375 Conshohocken State Rd. in Bala Cynwyd and is open seven days a week: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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