Catboat Coffee Co., now open in the Tisbury Marketplace, combines one family’s unique food interests and their favorite Vineyard pastime.
The story of how an old catboat and various business ideas came together can be traced back to Victoria Danberg, who grew up on the Island sailing in Edgartown Harbor on her beloved Beetle Cat, named Catama. Victoria’s three children, Andrew Danberg-Ficarelli, MeredithDanberg-Ficarelli, and Alex Ficarelli-Danberg, spent their childhood summers on the Vineyard. The children, who are now adults and married, have moved to the Island full-time.
After moving to the Vineyard, Alex’s wife, Morgen Schroeder, started Martha’s Vineyard Cheesery, and Meredith’s husband, Naji Boustany, started Epicure, both functional businesses that would participate in pop-ups and events, but had no storefront. Morgen says, “The family had a dream of opening a coffee shop that could combine all of the family’s food endeavors under one roof, and address the challenge of limited commercial kitchen space, and thus Catboat Coffee Co. was born!” At three side-by-side booths, Catboat Coffee Co., Martha’s Vineyard Cheesery, and Epicure now serve everything from coffee and pastries to Lebanese mezze platters and gourmet cheeses.
The coffee shop serves specialty drinks, lattes, and pastries. In addition to the usual suspects, the coffee shop offers drinks enhanced with rose syrup, including their rose latte and rose lemonade. Breakfast sandwiches will be added to the menu soon.
Martha’s Vineyard Cheesery will serve artisanal cheeses and grazing boards. The cheese case will be stocked with local cheeses, highlighting the best that New England has to offer. Fresh cut-to-order cheese will be available, as well as grazing boards serving one to 12 people.
Epicure will serve grab-and-go and made-to-order Lebanese meals. Naji was born in Lebanon, and takes pride in combining fresh local ingredients with traditional Lebanese flavors. Morgen tells us, “Epicure’s regular offerings will feature dips (hummus, baba ganoush, labneh, etc.), salads (tabbouleh, fattoush, local greens, etc.), and manousheh flatbreads, plus other Lebanese favorites like falafel, shawarma, kafta, and baklava.”
As Catboat Coffee Co. grows and moves into summer, expect to see their shelves fill with products spanning from charcuterie board accessories and olive oils to apparel featuring their nautical logo. In addition to the family’s food ventures, Alex Ficarelli-Danberg is a woodworker at Chappaquiddick Wood Co. His beautiful cheese boards, bowls, and whale-shaped salad servers are for sale at the coffee shop.
The family behind Catboat Coffee Co. is committed to supporting and giving back to the Island community. Their involvement in the Vineyard Haven business community, Island Grown Initiative, and Island-Wide Organics Waste Managed Committee will be reflected in their products. The family aims to create a sustainable and respectful business by using and highlighting Island-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Morgen reflects on the “disposable nature of a grab-and-go food establishment,” ensuring that compostable packaging, a water bottle refilling station, and a 20 percent discount on drinks if customers bring their own cup or mug will be available.
The family says, “We hope to become a new go-to spot for coffee, food, provisions, and gifts.” If you look up inside Catboat Coffee Co, you will see pieces of Catama, the Beetle Cat that belonged to Victoria Danberg. When asked how the new establishment will fit into and enhance the Vineyard community, Morgen shared, “Catboats are known for being able to do ‘a little bit of everything’; from commercial fishing to sightseeing charters to recreational family sailboats. We want to embody that versatility with Catboat Coffee Co., providing everything from an affordable coffee and lunch to unique pantry items to grand catering spreads.”
Catboat Coffee Co. in the Tisbury Marketplace is currently open Thursday through Sunday, 7 am to 3 pm, but plans to expand opening hours as summer approaches.