An importer of fine foods has relocated his business to Emmaus, and added a café and an office offering cooking and baking programs to expand his presence.
Joao DaCosta, the owner of Lehigh Fine Foods in Bethlehem, said he moved his business to 1301 N. Chestnut St., Suite N in Emmaus a few doors down from his other business, The Mix Bartending School, which he launched last year.
The shopping center setting at East Penn Plaza makes for a more appropriate retail venue for Lehigh Fine Foods, he added.
DaCosta has been importing farm-to-cup coffee, bean-to-bar chocolate, rare olive oils, organic tea and exotic sauces for many years.
Along with online sales, Lehigh Products sells its specialty food products at its Emmaus location and distributes its items for sale at many businesses throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“I always wanted to have a place where people could buy and try the tea and coffee,” DaCosta said.
He said he wants to create a community of foodies and coffee aficionados.
Lehigh Café, will be the place where people can try coffee, tea, chocolate and other products.
“The idea of having a coffee shop as part of the office just evolved,” DaCosta said. “We still import food and sell food, that’s the main focus. The coffee shop is basically an addition.”
He plans to open additional Lehigh Café’s after developing the business model.
He has one full-time employee and is seeking a part-time worker.
Lehigh Cuisine is the office space where people can take courses, he added.
The space will offer cooking and baking lessons, with courses that include options for a healthy breakfast, anti-inflammatory foods, and creating fermented food.
He’s hoping to create a space where people can socialize, learn new things, and share information about recipes, contacts and events on healthy eating.