New Ridgefield coffee shop brewed in memory of owners’ mother: ‘It’s a little luxury’

Photo of Alyssa Seidman

RIDGEFIELD — A new storefront on Main Street is creating quite the buzz.

Queen B Coffee Company, opening this spring, is a brand-new business from sisters Heather and Jennifer Bellizzi, who live in Ridgebury. They are also the owners of Crystals and Cones and 3 Keys Restaurant in Redding.

The duo moved to town from Stamford five years ago, and although they grew up in New York City, many of their weekends were spent “in the hills” of Ridgefield, Heather Bellizzi said.

In the concrete jungle the sisters often found refuge in old-school cafes. Opening a coffee shop was an idea they had drafted with their mother, Linda, a teacher who was known as “Queen B” in the classroom.

“She was called Queen B before Beyoncé,” Heather Bellizzi said. “She was the kind of person that lit up a room when she walked in.”

The Bellizzis were set to sign a lease for a space in Darien several years ago, but their plans came to an abrupt halt when Linda suddenly passed away. When the sisters decided to open their other business ventures in Redding last year, they brought the Queen B idea back to life.

“All of our businesses have a very mindful menu and decor,” Heather Bellizzi said. “We want people to walk into our spaces and feel like royalty.”

White tin ceilings and dark wood floors invite visitors into the first level of the cafe, which includes a hand-crafted espresso bar set in front of a picturesque wall. Hanging among the tangled green vines is a yellow neon sign that reads “but first, coffee.”

The brass-bottomed espresso machine was custom made in Italy and inscribed with the name “Linda” in honor of the owners’ late mother.

A Bellwether coffee roaster dominates the space. The fridge-sized machine brews a selection of eco-friendly brands using a self-contained filtration and toasting system, creating a consistent cup of Joe every time.

“You can pull out any flavor note depending on the region from which you pick your beans,” Heather Bellizzi explained. “It’s like the Tesla of coffee.”

She added that Queen B hopes to host private events in the future where guests can brew their own custom blends.

The lounge area downstairs pays homage to Tavern on the Green in New York City; a mural of the bucolic institution plasters one of the walls. Fairy lights and black velvet couches add a hint of magic to the space, which is also outfitted with refurbished seating and a faux fireplace.

“Every chair that we picked had a purpose,” Heather Bellizzi said.

Queen B will offer light bites like soup, sandwiches, salads, quiches, frittatas, pastries and other goodies. And coffee isn’t the only beverage available — the cafe will also have a curated wine and liquor menu.

Joining the fabric of Main Street is an honor, Heather Bellizzi said. She hopes Queen B will become a place where people can “feel human again” as they seek to re-connect in a post-pandemic world.

“If people come in, have a coffee and feel good then we’ve done our job — it’s a little luxury,” she said. “I hope this space makes as much of an impact on our area and the people who enjoy it as our mom made on us.”

Queen B Coffee Company is at 417 Main St. in Ridgefield.