Café 542 brings fresh and organic to Maple Falls
When people find a good thing, word travels fast. Open since May, Café 542 has a steady stream of customers, with an even mix of locals and tourists who all come in for fresh, local food.
With nearly everything in the kitchen made from scratch, Café 542, owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Serafino and Trish Gesmundo, is a local food-lover’s dream. The squash comes from the community garden in Maple Falls, the organic blueberries from local farmers. Tony’s Ganesha Espresso is the coffee of choice, and Serafino smokes his own fish and slow cooks his own pulled pork and corned beef. The salsa is made fresh daily, and Trish’s delicious baked goods include the popular pumpkin muffins, zucchini and banana bread, gluten-free options and coconut macaroons.
The specials change daily, but breakfast often includes stuffed English muffins with eggs and smoked chorizo, corned beef hash, and raspberry, blueberry or blackberry pancakes with eggs and bacon. Lunch often includes jerk chicken, lamb gyro wraps, creole smoked pork, carnitas, panini sandwiches and soup. They serve fresh-squeezed lemonade, espresso drinks, and have a juice bar with selections such as Skagit Valley Strawberry Smoothie.
Originally from Michigan, Serafino and Trish have lived in Mt. Baker area for the past five years. Although a realtor by trade, Trish grew up in the restaurant business, and Serafino has a background in construction management, sales and marketing. Owning a restaurant is a logical choice for the duo, who are partners in life and business.
Their goal is to provide wholesome, fresh food to the community, just as their family (which includes 4-year-old Kaia and 6-year-old Canyon) would eat. “We want to feed people like we feed our children,” Trish said.
Trish and Serafino move with ease in the small restaurant, cooking, serving, chatting with customers and creating a welcoming atmosphere for all.
The café seats 12 inside and about 24 outside. They plan to open a heated outside area with a fire pit soon.
Aside from its food service roots, the café serves as something of a community hub.
Local artist Elise Waldman runs an arts and crafts class for kids from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursdays, and Trish and Serafino are putting together a multiage soccer coop. A box of Legos sits outside, ready to entertain the many kids that stop by with their parents.
Café 542 is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and plans are in the works to add dinner service. It is located on the way to Mt. Baker at 7466 Mt. Baker Highway, Maple Falls. For more information, call 360/599-1347. X