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January 30, 2023

Worcester coffee shop sells location to Salvadoran bakery

Photo | Google Maps As of Feb. 1, Belen Casa de Pan will serve Salvadoran baked goods and Acoustic Java coffee at 932 Main St. in Worcester.

Worcester coffee staple Acoustic Java has sold its original Main Street location to Zaida Melendez of Belen Casa de Pan, a Salvadoran panaderia. Acoustic Java will continue to operate its Brussels Street flagship location.

“As of February 1 work will begin to make our new ‘Casa de Pan’ ready for all our new customers!!” said Melendez on Facebook on Friday. “What could be better than yummy fresh pastries along with some awesome Acoustic Java coffee!!”

Belen Casa de Pan will serve Acoustic Java coffee and will feature Salvadoran baked goods including quesadillas and semitas, according to a Friday Facebook post by Acoustic Java.

The sales price of the business was not disclosed. The location is owned by Clark University.

Melendez told WBJ on Monday she worked with UMass Memorial Health Care of Worcester for 16 years as a respiratory therapist. Yet, the stress that she and others in the healthcare industry endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be too much.

Melendez decided to pursue her dream of opening a bakery. 

Melendez moved to the United State from El Salvador when she was young, and she remembers having to travel to find fresh Salvadoran food. Even now, she said, a lot of local businesses bring in Salvadoran baked goods from New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island.

She looks forward to providing the community fresh baked goods from the on-site kitchen.

Melendez graduated from the Worcester Regional Food Hub program in the spring and has been using its commercial kitchen. 

In fall of 2022, she explored opening a space on Park Avenue in Worcester but that did not work out.

She was brought together with Acoustic Java CEO David Fullerton through a family connection and Worcester’s Clark University Small Business Development Center.

“The block isn’t losing its café, it’s gaining a beautiful new panaderia,” read the Acoustic Java Facebook post.

Acoustic Java opened at the 932 Main St. location in 2007 and has since expanded to a Brussels Street flagship location, which features a roasting facility and tasting room.

In 2019, Acoustic Java expanded to Providence, opening at the former site of Cable Car Cinema on South Main Street but closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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