Change is brewing at The Steaming Cup
New owners to take control Aug. 1

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

July 10, 2015

Kerry and Terry Mackay (left), soon-to-be former owners of The Steaming Cup, pass the cup, as it were, to incoming owners Cristina and Jason Tofte. 
Submitted photo

WAUKESHA — While The Steaming Cup may still be pouring mugs of coffee and hosting local music acts, change is percolating at the well-established coffee shop in downtown Waukesha.

Owners Kerry and Terry Mackay put The Steaming Cup, 340 W. Main St., up for sale in March after more than 10 years of running the coffee shop that serves food and has an adjoining tea room for special occasions.

Kerry Mackay said it was time to retire from the business and pursue other “items on his bucket list.”

On July 31, the Mackays will officially close on the sale of The Steaming Cup to Jason and Cristina Tofte, which also happens to be a Friday. Mackay said he plans to draw special attention to the new owners during that night’s Friday Night Live event.

Jason Tofte said the couple began to consider purchasing the Main Street coffee shop close to Memorial Day and felt the atmosphere and setup were exactly like what they would create if they were to open a coffee shop.

Mackay said he appreciated how the Toftes started to come to The Steaming Cup every day after they approached him about buying the business to get familiar with it.

“It showed a depth of interest that I hadn’t seen,” Mackay said. “They watched the shop. They watched the customers. The customers naturally started to gravitate to talk to them.”

It’s the customers that Mackay said he’ll most miss, although you may still see him with his camera walking around downtown Waukesha. He’ll also be spending about 20 hours per week for the first three weeks helping the new owners with the transition.

Tofte said he intends to maintain The Steaming Cup’s strong presence in the community by participating in Friday Night Live, hosting local singers and musicians and having a booth at the Saturday Waukesha Farmers Market.

“We want to be involved in the community. My wife is from Waukesha; we have been living here for 12 years,” Tofte said.

Both Jason and Cristina have fine dining experience from working at Eddie Martini’s in Wauwatosa, which is where Jason Tofte will remain for another week.

In the beginning, Tofte said, they’ll keep the same menu, especially while he learns how to be a barista. But once the couple settles in, he will begin to add items to the menu that will draw upon ingredients available at the farmers market, as well as made-from-scratch salad dressings and meats roasted in-house. Tofte said he will also continue to offer desserts, pastries, scones and cinnamon rolls.

Another change will be that Tofte intends to expand the coffee shop into the adjacent tea house and use that space on a daily basis, saying it has untapped potential.

One major component that will stay the same is the name The Steaming Cup, although the logo may get a makeover.