I had an hour to kill on a stormy Sunday afternoon, and as I was in the mood for some tea (surprise!) I decided to mosey on over to Apotheca and get out of the rain. Apotheca is an almost unbearably charming little shop (seriously — check out their pictures!) located in what I guess you’d call the “downtown” area of Goffstown. I’d been to the shop once before but it was over a year ago — and my mom paid — so this was almost like visiting for the first time. The place is primarily marketed as a flower shop, but also offers a full service coffee/tea bar and an eclectic mix of local merchandise – crafts, photos, clothing, and the like. As this is a food blog, I wasn’t paying appropriate attention to comment on the quality of their flowery merchandise or the oodles of other pretty things they are selling. Regardless, it’s worth a trip just for the eats and ambiance!
I’m a sucker for rooibos and they were offering three varieties that day: “Avalanche,” “Peppermint Pat-Tea” and something called “Shooshy LaLa” (no, for real, it’s from Portsmouth Tea Company, check it out). The barista was nice enough to let me sniff all three varieties and I wound up with Peppermint Pat-Tea, a super-tasty blend of rooibos, cocoa, and mint that was definitely reminiscent of its namesake. I have a mega-sweet tooth and I tested the tea with a little stevia (as well as without), and even for me just one packet of stevia was more than enough. The tea held up just as well a second time around, and when I asked for a refill on the hot water the barista was more than happy to oblige. +1 for happy baristas.
I wish I had thought to snap a picture of my other purchase at Apotheca, but I didn’t have my camera with me and it didn’t last long enough for me to bring it home! Apotheca offers salads, sandwiches, and bakery items in addition to their extensive drink menu. I was in the mood for a bakery item and opted for a cherry bar, a.k.a. “Vegan Delight,” supplied by Country Life Bakery in Harrisville, NH. Yay for local! Yay for vegan things even being available locally! The “Delight” also came in apple, raspberry, or date. And this thing was HUGE. Probably about the size of two medium-sized pieces of pie put together…and I ate it all! I don’t think I would have managed to do it if the ingredients list hadn’t seemed so good to me at the time. It was entirely fruit sweetened, with a filling of whole cherries, dried pineapple, dates and apple juice concentrate, and a crust made from oats and whole wheat flour with a little bit of soybean oil and barley malt. Absolutely nothing objectionable in any way. It tasted heavenly, of course: the crust crumbled perfectly and the filling was sweet but not overdone. I especially liked that whole cherries were used and that they were unspoiled by any syrup. I will really try to get a picture up here because it was so epically awesome words don’t do it justice. My one complaint: I found a cherry pit! If I hadn’t been carefully taking tiny bites of the bar to make it last longer, I could’ve swallowed the pit whole! Comes with the all-natural, minimally processed territory, I guess.
There were also, as you can imagine, a huge array of non-vegan bakery items. They were…not important.
Apotheca was a great place to sit and read for an hour by myself, but I think next time I’ll try and bring someone with me. It’d make a wonderful low-key spot to catch up with a friend over coffee or a light lunch (or a cherry bar). Rumor has it that on summer days when it isn’t thunderstorming, outdoor seating is available. Enjoy that sun while it lasts!
Apotheca Flowers & Tea Chest is located at 24 Main Street in Goffstown, across from Ace Hardware. http://www.apothecaflowershoppe.com/