Andrea Staggs (left) and Adolfo Valenzuela opened Twisted Cafe Wednesday, leaving Las Vegas for the small-town feel of Kingsburg. Photo courtesy of Twisted Cafe.
A couple has left the big city to start a fusion breakfast-and-lunch place in Kingsburg.
The Twisted Cafe at 1474 Draper St. opened Wednesday morning, a day after their final health inspection, said Executive Chef Andrea “Andy” Staggs.
Twisted Cafe serves an amalgam of American, Vietnamese and Hawaiian flavors along with “great coffee” from Modesto.
The restaurant will offer pastries, yogurt, parfaits and a number of other grab-and-go options, as well as a variety of a-la-carte offerings such as salads and sandwiches, some of them “with a twist.”
One is a savory French toast dish served as a bread pudding. It’s packed with sausage, bacon, green onions, tomato and white cheddar, topped with a honey jalapeño sauce. Staggs says it combines her background in Vietnamese and Hawaiian food with the traditional breakfast staple French toast.
She strives to make food that is easy to eat for customers looking to get back to work or school.
Staggs and Twisted Cafe’s co-owner, Adolfo “Duke” Valenzuela, came to Kingsburg by way of Las Vegas, where Staggs was executive chef for a Vietnamese-American restaurant.
For some time, the duo had wanted to leave Las Vegas, where doing a build-out for a new restaurant “can be extensive,” Staggs said.
She wanted a place she could call her own, and Sin City did not fit in with her vision of a “mom-and-pop shop.”
Though small town dynamics can be hard for experimental restaurants, the relationships owners forge with customers can make it successful.
“The dynamic may be different, but it’s more personal,” Staggs said. “I like the feel of getting those customers to come in repeatedly. It gives us access to people who have more of a stake into the restaurant.”
Being a small restaurant means adapting the menu to fit demand as much as it is offering unique dishes to build a following.
Even before opening, people asked whether ketogenic options would be available, Staggs said. People adhering to the popular diet must limit their intake of carbohydrates severely, meaning they can’t eat many of the pastries and other dishes served. So, Staggs developed a bowl of nuts, kale, arugula, eggs and a choice of chicken or salmon to cater to demand.
Staggs and Valenzuela have worked together for several years now. Staggs said that Valenzuela wanted to see her dream of opening a restaurant come true.
In December 2017, while she was in the midst of opening a second location for a restaurant in Vegas, Valenzuela had a few days off. In that time, he toured the Central Valley from Fresno to Visalia and found Kingsburg was a perfect fit. A coffee shop had recently burned down and Twisted Cafe could fill that gap, she said.
By February, the couple made the move and began working to renovate their shop.
Financing was “the biggest challenge ever,” Staggs said. They explored avenues from the Small Business Administration to credit cards to family and friends. Several people stepped up and became the most successful source of capital.
They placed their first food order on Friday, and are off to the races.
“Guests were excited to have their coffee and try the food,” Staggs said. “Sold out on the avocado toast and almost out of the desserts that we’ve been sampling people on since May.”