Framingham has plenty of chain coffee shops -- Dunkin' Donuts, Honey Dew Donuts, and of course, that symbol of 1990s gentrification, Starbucks. Depending on your viewpoint, they can be either comfortably consistent, or bland and boring. But what about the charm and intimacy of a single location, locally-owned and operated coffee shop?
Framingham's Nobscot village has the privilege of having just such a place, in the form of Espresso Paulo/Annie's Book Stop, at 774 Water Street in the Nobscot Shopping Plaza. Owner Paul Ashton transformed what was originally an ordinary used book shop into a vibrant community gathering place with top-notch coffee (from Hopkinton's Red Barn Coffee Roasters) teas, and baked goods.
The walls are hung with art from local artists, and jewelry is on display from area artisans. The shop also holds receptions for the artists, as well as appearances and book signings by local authors. How's that for a community orientation?
Espresso Paulo is open at 7 a.m. to cater to the work-bound commuter crowd, and stays open until 6 p.m. So bring your caffeine habit to the local guy, and let the big operators fend for themselves!