Tucked away in the corner of the basement of the main building at Harvard Medical Park is a cozy cafe where Beverly Rodriguez runs the show from her long, narrow kitchen.
Aunt B’s Cafe is decorated in light blues and off-whites to give it almost a cottage feel which is the cozy atmosphere Beverly Rodriguez was going for when she started up the cafe and used her nickname for the business.
“I am aunt to quite a few people and mom to some,” Rodriguez said. “It just seemed like a homey name.”
The cafe opened in the beginning of March and Rodriguez had her two daughters help her over spring break, but she is almost always working on her own, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I wanted something that I could do during very specific hours, and this happened to be exactly that, which is what drew me to it,” Rodriguez said. “This way I can drop my two girls off at school, come straight over here, open up and close at 2, go pick them up, go grocery shopping and come back here and make them help me clean up.”
Rodriguez used to work in the plaza and would sometimes eat in the cafe before her’s, but the previous owner did not offer espresso drinks.
“The main thing I changed was I brought in espresso,” Rodriguez said. “I know when I worked here, we would be sending somebody out for 10 coffees in the afternoon. I thought it would be so handy, so I definitely wanted to add that right away and I think that’s been a big draw as well.”
Rodgriguez makes all the pastries, soups and sandwiches herself in the kitchen after hours. She tries to keep some gluten-free options as well as some grab-and-go protein snacks available near the cash register.
“I’ve had more people come in who said, ‘I saw you on Facebook and I thought I’d try it,’” Rodriguez said. “I think there will be more in September because Evergreen Family Medicine is moving in next door. There’s a lot of dentists and doctors and stuff that are just down the street.”
Rodriguez said Charley’s Barbecue and Pete’s Drive-in closing has driven more traffic to the cafe and has really helped her out.
“There’s not very much left right here that isn’t blatantly fast food,” Rodriguez said.
For the week of April 8, she is celebrating the opening with specials every day, which she has already taught the employees in the plaza to look for on Facebook and Instagram. The cafe is open for anyone to visit, not just plaza employees or patients.