Mt. Airy’s High Point celebrates 10 years in the coffee biz

 Meg Hagele stands in front of High Point Cafe on Carpenter Lane. (Greta Iverson/for NewsWorks)

Meg Hagele stands in front of High Point Cafe on Carpenter Lane. (Greta Iverson/for NewsWorks)

Over the past 10 years, High Point Cafe has grown to two coffee shops and a wholesale operation with clients throughout the city. And while owner, Meg Hagele, has made several changes, she said the philosophy behind her coffee and pastries is hardly any different than it was on day one.

“The thing that was really important and will always be really important to me is making something of quality,” Hagele said. “I wanted to marry great coffee and great pastries.”

Regular patron Todd Bernstein starts his mornings at High Point every day. He said that even if he has a meeting at 7 a.m. on the other side of the city, he makes his way in for a daily coffee and scone.

“It’s a social center where I’ve forged a lot of friendships,” Bernstein said. “It’s very much conducive of the tradition of Mt. Airy.”

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Hagele grew up in Mt. Airy and remembers the communal atmosphere of Carpenter Lane, where Weavers Way Co-op sits across the street from High Point. She left in the ’80s and returned in 2003, eventually opening her shop.

That’s the type of community atmosphere she wanted to continue. 

She places a high priority on sourcing ingredients locally and gets many of her supplies from Weavers Way Co-op and her stepfather, who is an urban farmer.

 “We look at the things and figure out how to make them right, how to make them the best. And if we can’t afford to sell them, we don’t, rather than reduce the quality or change the ingredient,” she said.

When she entered the wholesale biz, Hagele even hired an executive chef who specializes in gluten free and allergen-free sweets.

“We actually built a gluten free, celiac safe space in the wholesale space,” Hagele said. “We have three divisions: a traditional bakery, gluten free, and coffee roasting.”

Producing gluten-free products allowed Hagele to “introduce” High Point Wholesale to the city. She remarked that many traditional bakeries don’t head down the gluten-free path, so there is a significant demand for it in the city.

The new wholesale space is allowing Hagele’s bakers to begin making more time-consuming products, too, like croissants.

“We’re realizing we have great brand recognition,” Hagele said. “It’s really exciting.”

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