When he lived in California, Palak Patel said he wanted to open his own business.
In 2012 he quit his job working in sales for T-Mobile and moved to the Austin area to work in a field he knew would make him happy—coffee.
Patel worked for Cianfrani Coffee Co., based in Georgetown, for a couple of years and learned the trade. He then took over ownership of Sage Coffee on South Congress Avenue in mid-2015, changing the name to Sage Cafe. The shop has changed hands and names a few times over the years, but Patel said many customers have been coming to the location for years.
The menu’s “light lunch” options have remained largely the same, he said, and include popular items such as a stuffed avocado, sandwiches, salads, breakfast options and smoothies. The shop also offers housemade hummus and salsa with pita bread and organic corn chips.
Pastries are brought in from Austin-based Russell’s Bakery three times per week and include muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls, and bread for sandwiches comes from Austin-based bakers including Moonlight Bakery, he said.
“Austin is the type of place where people support their local businesses,” he said, adding the shop’s coffee is sourced from Cianfrani.
All of the espresso specialties are new, including Russian Java, a latte with vanilla, caramel and hazelnut flavors ($4.25 for a 16-ounce cup).
Patel said the best part of his job is meeting people from all walks of life.
“Everyone has their own story,” Patel said.
The tomato basil mozzarella sandwich is one of the most popular items on the menu.[/caption]
Wrap it up
Wraps and sandwiches ($5.95) include basil chicken salad, tuna salad, turkey and provolone, and ham and swiss, and can be ordered cold or hot pressed. Signature sandwiches, such as the tomato basil mozzarella on focaccia bread ($6.95) are popular with Sage Cafe’s customers, owner Palak Patel said. The shop also sells PB&Js ($3.95).
Fruit smoothies are made with bases such as apple juice and coconut milk and come in three sizes—a 16-ounce ($4.95), a 24-ounce ($5.55) and a 32-ounce ($6.25). The most popular smoothie is the Peanut Butta Cup ‘o’ Joe, made with peanut butter, banana, chocolate and a shot of espresso, Patel said. Other items on the menu include spinach salad with dried cranberries and The Trio, a plate of hummus, avocado slices and salsa served with pita bread and tortilla chips ($6.50).
Meet the owner
California transplant Palak Patel took over ownership of the coffee shop and renamed it Sage Cafe in 2015. He said the shop, which shares a driveway and parking lot with local nursery The Great Outdoors, has a convenient location that attracts businesspeople and cyclists passing through the area. “I love South Congress,” Patel said, adding that in the future, he would like to open at least two more Sage Cafe locations in Austin along the road—one farther north and another farther south.
Palak Patel owns Sage Cafe on South Congress Avenue.[/caption]