Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Coffee!
It’s clear when you walk into Espresso To Go and Fast Forward coffee shops: you are not in any regular Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. It doesn’t matter if there’s a line or not: the staff, Buddy (baking in the back) and often Terri, who jumps in to pour coffee, greet each customer personally!
Jean (known by most as Buddy) and Terri Dion are co-owners of the Espresso To Go and Fast Forward coffee shops. It all started for them when they met back in 1988, both employed at the White Elephant: Buddy as chef and Terri a cocktail waitress. Each working at different times for then-owner Susan Fisher, they were able to get a feel for the business early on. Twenty-four years later Buddy and Terri have found themselves happily married, with two children, and the co-owners of two fabulous coffee shops.
Taking the reins in October, 2006, they figure: why switch up a business that’s been working for over 25 years? Today they’ve tweaked a few recipes to their liking, making some more and some less sweet. You’ll still find the standbys: congo bars, oatmeal raisin cookies, the No-Nuts Cookie, and of course the Seriously Chocolate Cookie. Their daily varieties of sandwiches, muffins, breakfast sandwiches and croissants are made on a rotating schedule, but all are similar: good-quality, good-tasting products.
Currently Terri and Buddy serve freshly brewed Beanstock coffee as well as newly-added frozen drinks (which should re-appear on their menu later this month). The drink selection has grown to include such specialty drinks as the Almond Joy and the Milky Way, a must-try concoction consisting of coffee, caramel, chocolate and steamed milk, served hot, cold and even frozen.
Buddy and Terri both agree: what makes their items so delicious and worth coming back for is the love put into making them. Their amazing muffins (believe me when I say they’re amazing—I’ve had them shipped to me because of the insane cravings they can evoke) are all hand-whisked daily. For breakfast they offer a daily standby blueberry muffin (streusel, cinnamon blueberry, banana blueberry), a healthy option, and a choice muffin. I suggest you drop whatever you’re doing this Saturday and make your way to either location, to try their delicious tri-berry muffins (offered fresh every Saturday). There’s something about the mixture of three berries in one muffin that makes it quite decadent.
For lunch stop in and try their staple tuna fish sandwich, which has various accompanying cheeses: Havarti, pepper jack, provolone or Swiss. The basics are consistently tweaked, creating appealing and savory mouthfuls of goodness. If you’re trying to eat on the lighter side, luckily they offer each sandwich as a half. All come pre-plated, so you simply take off the plastic wrap and start eating! The selections of salads are all original containing items such as: walnuts, goat cheese, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and spinach rather than your basic romaine lettuce. Oh, don’t forget to grab a bag of chips, a candy bar, the newspaper, a magazine, or even a caffeinated lollipop to go along with your grab-and-go lunch.
Do you ever get sick of the same coffee flavors offered? At both coffee shops there is a “coffee of the week”, which is always a unique flavor or blend. Their current goal as business owners is to become a destination spot to buy unique coffee beans and tea. Terri mentions that they are currently purchasing small-batch coffee beans from all different “local” areas, whether it’s local to New England or Texas! Check in often to see the new types arriving during the summer.
One thing is for sure: Buddy and Terri are hardworking Nantucket individuals, working six days a week and devoting their one day off, Sunday, to quality family time. They truly represent the old ways of Nantucket, appreciating the small things in life. Buddy mentioned that his love for the business lies with the customers, and, as he puts it, the “daily banter” he encounters with each one. Whether it’s his year-round 6am-on-the-dot worker or the couple he sees every two weeks in August, he looks forward to seeing friendly faces on a day-to-day basis. Terri says: “The number one thing in importance is offering the customers a good product at the most reasonable price we can.”
Whether you find yourself on the outskirts of town or need to make a trip, don’t hesitate to come in and say hello to Buddy and Terri Dion, at Espresso to Go (1 Toombs Ct.) or Fast Forward (117 Orange Street). You’ll certainly be welcomed, and you’ll certainly come back!