Originally published in the September 2021 issue of LCM
As you might guess from the name, Coffee and Cream features coffee and ice cream. However, that’s just the beginning. As you will discover, there’s so much more to this eatery that’s located just a short walk from the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail.
This gem of an eatery in Columbia was opened in October 2019 by Megan and Jim Groff, who also are part-owners of Union Station Grill, where Jim serves as the general manager. Coffee and Cream makes its home in what was originally a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station. Megan reports that the building once served as a manufacturing facility for Lasko fans and was a machine shop before it was vacated. “It sat vacant for a couple of decades,” she explains. “Jim always liked the building, which is across from the boat ramp. We live in town and would come in from a day of boating and see the building – he would say it might be a great little place where people could stop by after boating or hiking the trail and get an ice cream treat,” she explains.
The building is near the southern terminus of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail and across from Columbia Crossings River Trails Center, a visitor/education center and trailhead for the popular trail. “We have people coming in after walking or biking the trail. We also have ‘regulars’ who stop in for coffee in the morning. A coffee shop is an everyday thing for a lot of people,” Megan says.
The light and airy space is distinguished by a white-and-turquoise color scheme, high ceilings, large windows and an understated industrial-chic design aesthetic. The café has seating for about 28 indoors. The main seating area shares space with the service counter where guests place orders, select pastries or grab a drink from the reach-in. A long wooden banquette with tables and chairs is on the wall opposite the service counter. There are also several free-standing tables with chairs. A hand-painted mural on the wall over the banquette was created by a local artist and artwork from local artists adorns the walls throughout the café.
A smaller dining area contains a high-top table and chairs and two casual chairs, as well as a bin filled with toys and books for young visitors. The long front porch serves as an outdoor seating area. There’s also a walk-up window on the front porch. “We put the take-out window in during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Megan says. “It’s something we thought about doing when we opened, but didn’t have the time to do it then. It’s convenient for people coming off the trail – sometimes you’re hot and sweaty and don’t want to go inside a restaurant to order.”
Coffee and Cream serves both Hershey’s and Beck’s (a premium, handcrafted ice cream produced in York) ice cream, as well as Achenbach’s pastries and Mr. Sticky’s sticky buns. “They’re all local products, and we like to focus on local,” Megan says, describing the menu as “simple classics; items like your kitchen at home.”
Breakfast fare includes baked oatmeal, creamed chipped beef, loaded hash browns, biscuit sandwich, breakfast panini and croissant-wich (bacon or sausage, egg, and American cheese on a house-baked croissant). Lunch items include a variety of paninis (including a “build your own”), cobb salad, classic or Waldorf chicken salad, quiche and grilled cheese among others. Fresh soup, small salad and fruit cup are among the sides.
Hot drinks include coffee, latte, café au lait, chai latte, cappuccino, Ghirardelli hot cocoa and tea-based drinks such as London Fog and Parisian Mist. Cold drinks include fresh-brewed iced tea, iced cold-brew coffee, iced latte, fruit smoothies, frappes, milkshakes, ice cream floats and fountain soda.
“You can tell the weather in Columbia by what menu items are popular that day. When it’s hot, smoothies, shakes and ice cream are top sellers,” Megan says. “On the weekends, people come in for our breakfast sandwiches and quiches. During the week, some people get coffee and a breakfast sandwich to go.”
Coffee and Cream is located at 101 North Front Street, Columbia. Hours after Labor Day are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 717-449-5488 or visit coffee-and-cream-coffee-shop.business.site and on Facebook and Instagram. Take-out is available; order online at clover.com/online-ordering/coffee-and-cream-columbia.