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Business Highlight - Firefly Coffee House

July 13, 2020

Firefly Coffee House is widely known as the quick-to-sell-out, best housemade bagel spot in town. Now under
new ownership, the late sleepers among us are finally in luck. Hans Losee, who took over the cafe with his girlfriend, April Wilkerson, in February, says he’s upping production of the famous baked goods to ensure everyone gets a taste.

“We’re making a great product and I want everyone to have a piece of that,” says Losee. “We’re increasing the quantity and trying to increase our bake rate but it’s such an artisan, small-batch process. So while we’re increasing that, we're still keeping the integrity of the product.”

In addition to upping production,Losee is sourcing local, farm-fresh ingredients, and introducing new offerings, like a spicy artichokeheart tapenade. “It’s got spicy garlic, artichoke hearts, serrano peppers and preserved meyer lemon,” he says. “It’s been really fun playing around with recipes that Firefly already had, but putting my spin on it.”

The cozy cafe also offers breakfast scrambles with home-fried potatoes and fresh-made sandwiches."It’s simple food, just done really well,” says Losee. Firefly’s beverage options are equally impressive, including everything from basic brews to the more-complex London Fog, an earl grey tea topped with vanilla steamed milk and decadent, cappuccino-style foam.

In light of COVID-19, Losee re-imagined the Firefly’s layout to align with the county’s safety protocols and  introduce a bright, approachable vibe for guests. Now the cafe offers an order-at-the-window counter, with socially-distanced outdoor tables. “I think it’s evolved in a really positive way,” he says. “People are really excited about the changes. We've had a groundswell of support.”

When visiting the updated establishment, customers old and new can expect efficient, warm and accurate service. “You get served with a smile. I love what I do. I love being in the food industry and service
business,” says Losee.

So far, Losee’s favorite part of running Firefly is the positive community that surrounds it. “I love
this community. The people just really love it and they love what it stands for,” he says. “That came with the Coffee House when I took it over. It’s been really nice to be a part of that intrinsic value that comes with having a business that’s loved.”

As a community-centered, first-time business owner, banking with the Santa Cruz Community Credit
Union was the only logical choice for Losee. “It just felt like a safe, community-based thing where if I had questions, I could find them. I could walk down the street and talk to them,” he said. says Losee. “I knew they’d helped other small businesses get started that had a lot of success and I knew they'd work with me. If I had questions about how to grow or bring my business to another level, they have resources for me.”

This support was especially imperative for Losee as he—and small business owners across the county—navigated the financial uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus. “I was in the middle of thinking, ‘what
the heck do I do?’ because COVID was shutting everybody down,” he says. “But I knew I had a buffer and I knew that I had the support of the credit union. So as scary as it was, I knew I had a safety net,” he says.

Like many other businesses in our community, SCCCU has continued to provide help during the ongoing pandemic. If you are in need of a businesss loan, or have other concerns about how to manage your finances during this time, please call us at 831-425-7708.