Guilty Cafe

Michelle Felder and Linh Tuong have are offering a new place for breakfast and lunch – and cupcakes – at Guilty Café. (Photo by Roberta Baumann)

A new café in Waunakee serving is serving up high quality coffee, breakfast, lunch and baked goods.

Guilty Café opened its doors Aug. 11 at 244 N. Century Ave., as a collaboration between baker Michelle Felder and coffee aficionado Linh Tuong.

Offering full-service coffees along with teas, the café also has baked goods such as cupcakes, cookies and scones, with cheesecakes anticipated once business’ cooler arrives. All are baked in-house and can be made to order for special occasions.

Breakfast options feature quiche and egg sandwiches, and the developing lunch menu includes a falafel wrap, turkey avocado sandwich and ham and cheese sandwich.

Felder, a native of Cassville, said she has always been interested in food service.

“My grandma did a lot of cooking and baking. I love baking for people and seeing someone enjoy a cupcake or cookie I created,” Felder said.

After graduating from culinary arts school in Janesville, Felder worked for seven years at the Silly Yak bakery, making gluten- and dairy-free desserts. Afterwards, she began her own catering business, doing commercial baking from a rented kitchen space.

Guilty Café also offers gluten-free and dairy-free desserts for those who want to feel a little less guilty.

Their online cupcake menu shows a wide array of choices, including filled cupcakes and “boozy cupcakes.”

Tuong grew up in Madison and earned his degree in elementary education at UW-Madison but decided to take another career path.

“I found a love for coffee,” he said. “My wife got me into it. It’s been pretty much a pursuit of passion.”

Tuong found out that Madison has few choices for very good coffee. He’s worked at both Barriques, where he met Felder, and a the Highland Espresso Bar in Madison.

He said Felder contacted him with the idea of joining her in opening their own café.

“I love the craft and the science of making coffee,” Tuong said.

For the perfect cup, the correct water quality is needed, along with fresh, correctly roasted coffee Tuong said. The griding method also plays a role, he said.

“We spent a lot of money on equipment. It makes everything much better and more consistent,” Tuong said.

His goal was to create a method so no matter which employee is making the coffee, the taste is consistent, he said.

Guilty Café is using Kickapoo Coffee as its main roaster, and is brewing up to nine different recipes. Kickapoo Coffee Roasters works directly with the farms that produce the coffee, he said.

“They pay the farmers more, but it’s like getting prime steak versus choice steak,” Tuong said.

Tuong and Felding said finding the right location for Guilty Cafe took a long time.

“Our Realtor was probably tired of us. We looked all around Madison,” Tuong said.

The N. Century Avenue location was “like a blank box,” he said, adding that it’s a busy, high traffic street.

Felder and Tuong say they plan to expand the menu once they become more established.

“Our main goal is service,” Tuong said. “We’re trying to put out a great product, but we’re also trying to take care of the customers.”

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