Café Crème, a French café in downtown North Miami, has recently begun offering deli services, chocolate and wine, consolidating operations from two other stores, said one of the store’s owners.
Co-owners Claude Postel and Corentin Finot closed the Buena Vista Deli and Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine earlier this year, both in the Miami Design District.
Finot said a combination of things made them decide to close the stores, including a significant increase in rent.
Customers were also confused by the name, said employee Nicole Mendoza.
“A lot of people thought the name sounded Hispanic so they would come in looking for Cuban food like croquetas,” she said.
Café Crème opened in downtown North Miami in October 2016 as a stand-alone concept, but with the closures, Finot said he wanted to keep the spirit of the other businesses alive somehow.
“We wanted to keep the concept of Buena Vista Deli,” he said, adding many customers of the deli have come to the North Miami location. “For it to be a meeting point for people.”
Customer Melisa Romero said she appreciates the atmosphere.
“Everyone seems to know everyone,” she said. “Whenever someone walks in the door they receive a warm welcome.”
Finot said they opened the café with the intention of it becoming a neighborhood spot, adding city officials have been very helpful.
He said that Café Crème is about twice the size as the deli, has a larger outside seating area and much more parking.
“One of the biggest issues was Buena Vista’s parking.” Finot said. “We didn’t have our own parking lot so customers would have to park in the neighbor’s lawns which would anger the residents.”
The idea to open the café came from North Miami city officials years ago. Finot said he and his partner were approached by the city to bring the café to North Miami because they hoped it would impact the city as positively as it did to the Buena Vista neighborhood.
“The mayor has been very supportive and he wants more events on the plaza so people can come together,” Finot said.
He said he likes downtown North Miami and thinks it is an up-and-coming area.
“We are thankful for the support from the people of North Miami and look forward to growing with the city,” Finot said.