Figuero’s offers coffee, hot sauces to add flavor to the cafe

Ashley Cole crouches in a corner as she attempts to connect a phone jack to a wall.

She looks up to see her boyfriend entering the spicy smelling “hot sauce” room from the entrance of Figuero’s Coffee and Gourmet Food.
He hands her a bag with her dinner and together they walk to the room in the back of the store. Cole, a barista at the café, says her goodbyes and puts her food away, then immediately jumps behind the counter to serve the customers the sweet Ghiradelli mocha and mint hot chocolate they have been waiting for.

Located on Main Street, Figuero’s is a one-of-a-kind coffee shop. It was opened by John Figueroa, a native of New York, in order to take advantage of the increasing coffee market 20 years ago. Then, after 10 years, Figueroa added the hot sauces to give his store a one-up on other cafés.
“I needed something no one else had in the area,” Figueroa said. “I needed something to set us apart from all the other shops.”

Now, years later, the shop is thriving both with local customers and ones on the internet. Over 40 percent of Figuero’s sales are from their special hot sauces and most of those orders come from customers all over the world.
Despite Figuero’s worldwide popularity, they put a lot of focus on pleasing the local customers and helping the community. In the past, they donated coffee to the North Street Coffee House.

“We try to give back to the community as much as possible because they made us successful,” Figueroa said.
Figuero’s also provides a place for students to relax with a couch and tables in the café area.

“It’s a good place to study,” Cole said. “It’s quiet and we get quite a few people from Lindenwood.”
Figuero’s also offers special foods and recipes during the holidays and will be holding a free holiday tasting tonight from seven to nine while giving customers 10 percent off of every purchase.