As a devoted West Chester native, Len Mojzes thought the borough would be a perfect location for a come-sit-for-a-while coffee shop, one that's more like a traditional European café. He says since 1998 he had wanted to establish a coffeehouse in West Chester with his business partner, Rich Mattis. They eventually found the right physical spot, opened Gryphon West Chester Café in 2019, and have been serving delightful cups of coffee and noshes since.
"Making and serving excellent coffee in a convivial atmosphere is the Gryphon Cafe's heart and soul. Our baristas make this happen day in and day out," assures Len.
Rich launched Gryphon Coffee Co. during 1996 in Wayne as the first location. Len started as the manager there in 1998. Now, together, they also operate a third location in Philadelphia off of West Oxford Street.
Len says Rich is the company's main roaster and that he sources amazing coffees, rotating somewhat based on coffee-growing seasons. Many of the beans originate in Ethiopia, Colombia and Kenya.
Gryphon single-origin coffee names reflect the creativity and care with which the blends are made: Vigor, Louella, Ardi, Tio Conejo, Gakuyuini, Marlowe, Park, Team Skyline and Yirgz. Teas served there range from Monk's Blend, Earl Grey and Gryphon Breakfast to Blue Eyes, Vanilla Almond Rooibos and Moroccan Mint.
Spoiler Alert: At press time, Len was working on developing a proprietary coffee blend specifically in honor of West Chester. While a final flavor or name hadn't been completely decided, he says he envisioned the likely medium-roast, special hometown brew to have a pleasing "nutty, caramel and a little chocolate" taste.
They create most of their own recipes, including syrups and sauces. While snacks on the Gryphon menu are croissants and pastries, they also serve egg sandwiches, as well as Philly muffins, toasts and cereals.
Milk alternatives span oat milk, almond milk, macadamia milk and soy milk.
Gryphon drink essentials include:
- Flat White
- Hot Chocolate
Seasonal Drinks Offerings:
- Hot Chocolate
- Golden Milk
- Baba's Brew Kombucha on tap
- Nitro Coffee
Sandwiches and Panini Choices:
- Chicken Salad Sandwich, which is hand made with love since 1996
- Prosciutto + Camembert
- Hummus Sandwich
- Cheese Panino
- Mushroom Panino
- Prosciutto Panino
Gluten-free and vegan breads also are available at Gryphon West Chester. "By spring, we hope to introduce some new salads and sandwiches," Len reveals.
Because the café team nurtures a "so-chill" ambiance, many past customers have chosen to work from there several days a week. After converting seats into shelves due to COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, Len says they pivoted to offering more tea and coffee devices while coaching customers how to prepare better coffee at home. "We've been happy to answer a lot of questions, and we've even walked customers through some of the processes, such as various styles of pour-overs," says Len.
He encourages everyone at home to use filtered water to make java, as the purified water at the café is a key ingredient to the smooth taste of their coffees and teas. "Our reverse osmosis equipment looks a bit like a Star Trek transporter. It's an expensive system, but it yields phenomenal water for making tea and coffee," Len says.
Important side note to artistic makers of another sort: Original artwork is displayed in the café. "We believe artists help us see not only what we are but what we want to be. If you're interested in sharing your vision, please contact us," invites Len.
111 W. Gay St.
- Coffee beans grow on bushes; they're actually pits of berries, which makes them a fruit.
- History indicates coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia in the 1500s after he saw goats eating coffee cherries (the seeds) and not sleeping at night due to energy bursts.
- Coffee is consumed in such great quantities, it's the world’s second largest traded commodity.
- After coffee beans are decaffeinated, several coffee manufacturers sell the caffeine to soda and pharmaceutical companies.
- People surmise the word 'coffee' entered the English language sometime in the 16th century. It was borrowed from the Italian word 'caffe,' which comes from the Dutch word 'koffie,' taken from the Ottoman Turkish 'kahve,' which stemmed from Arabic 'qahwah.'