A new crêperie is set to open in Greenport this month with a nod to the owners’ Colombian roots.
Gustavo Acero and his wife, Yuri, plan to open Encanto Crêpes and Cafe in the former Hampton Chocolate Company location on Main Street later this month.
They plan to serve up both sweet and savory crêpes in more than a dozen flavors that go beyond the traditional at the new eatery, which features a sleek, modern design with round LED chandeliers and cafe-style seating options.
Several crêpe griddles line the main counter, which will allow customers to get a look at the satisfying process of the batter being spread around the pan.
The space also has playful touches, from an LED angel wing photo op to colorful, hand-sculpted planters made from recycled materials in Medellín.
In addition to classic French offerings like Nutella, banana and strawberry, the Aceros have planned a menu of breakfast crêpes and hope to incorporate flavors from their native Colombia like dulce de leche and sweet, cheesy combinations.
Acero also hopes to take inspiration from local farms and is exploring partnerships with local businesses like Magic Fountain to collaborate on some extravagant desserts.
Crêpes may be the main focus at Encanto, but the couple got the idea to open a business during a tour of the mountainous coffee regions in Colombia. “It was a beautiful trip, beautiful towns and there was a lot of information,” Gustavo Acero explained. It also gave him a new appreciation for one of his home country’s top exports. “Believe it or not, we grew up with instant coffee, because they send the best coffee away,” he said.
Encanto is equipped with a Simonelli espresso bar and a tall, unique Kyoto-style slow drip coffee maker for cold brews and iced coffee, all sourced from Colombia. Almojábana, a traditional Colombian cheese bread, will also be on the menu and Acero recommends pairing it with coffee.
Crêpes, surprisingly, are also a reference to the South American country’s popular chain of “Crêpes & Waffles” restaurants the couple always enjoyed visiting.
After returning from visits, Acero joked that they’d always say they wish someone would open something similar in the United States. “I guess we got tired of waiting,” he said.
The thin French pancakes also connect Acero to his earliest days in Greenport.
Acero, 40, immigrated from Bogotá to Greenport with his parents and two younger siblings more than 20 years ago when he was a junior in high school. “It was very different from Bogota,” he said. “I wasn’t thrilled about coming to the U.S., but I fell in love with Greenport.”
He first encountered crêpes while working at Île De Beauté, a French restaurant that once occupied 314 Main Street in Greenport and ultimately learned to perfect them.
Though he works full time as a graphic design manager for Sonneman lighting, Acero moved back to East Marion full time during the pandemic and has never looked back. Plus, he’s now closer to family: his mother runs the Simply Beautiful boutique in the village while his dad owns Not Just Bows and his aunt runs Di Angela Leather in Greenport.
And while Greenport is a seasonal destination, Acero is hoping to stay open year round with limited winter hours.
“It’s been very exciting. We’ve eaten a lot of crêpes,” Acero said with a laugh.
The couple agreed that Encanto, which translates to enchantment or charm, was a perfect fit for their new endeavor. “It fits perfectly. It’s a very recognized Spanish word that speaks to more than just [Hispanic people] now,” Acero said. “We want everyone that comes here to feel welcome.”