Cafe Smitten – Bakersfield, CA

We first met Stasie and Shai Bitton of Cafe Smitten in early 2015 when the couple was newly married. They were living in New York City when they connected with Allen Yelent, one of Counter Culture’s regional managers. After visiting the Counter Culture New York Training Center, they inquired about partnering with us to provide coffee for a cafe they were planning to open in California.

“I felt a kinship because they were a newly-wed couple living in New York City, and our lives were taking the same direction,” recalls Allen who was also a newly wed at the time. “I related to them. It felt like more than a partnership. It felt like a relationship.”

Cafe Smitten, located in Bakersfield, CA, celebrated its one year anniversary in February 2018 and has become a staple within the community for great coffee and friendly faces—it’s even Alton Brown-approved. The spot is sunny and bright and is housed in a charming historic building that Stasie’s parents bought a few years ago. The couple’s goal was to bring the kind of specialty coffee that they found in larger cities like New York, to the city they now call home. The shop’s name is a combination of the last names of the two owners: Smith and Bitton.

In our partnership video, Stasie talks about how the name is meant to welcome customers as soon as they walk through the cafe’s doors. She says that the goal was to make sure that customers connected with everything that Cafe Smitten has to offer, including its comforting atmosphere.

“When we started talking about building a coffee shop, our first phone call was to Counter Culture,” Stasie says in the video. “It seemed so obvious to us that this was our favorite coffee to drink everyday so this is probably who we should partner with.”

We’re excited that, a little more than a year later, our partnership with Smitten continues to be something we all celebrate.

And, if you’re ever in Bakersfield, Allen recommends Smitten’s avocado toast and cold brew. “It’s some of the best in the area,” he says.

Click here to watch the full Cafe Smitten partnership video.


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