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They Call Me Bruce | | Deja Brew CaféDeja Brew Café

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Mon-Thur 7:00am to 6:00pm
7:00am to 9:00pm
8:00am to 9:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm

Deja Brew Café
5 West Broad St.
Mount Vernon, NY 10552

Phone (914) 699-3300
Fax (914) 699-3309


They Call Me Bruce

Chef Bruce Tanner, the proprietor of the new Deja Brew Café in the Fleetwood section of Mt. Vernon, arrived at ownership in a roundabout way.

When Bruce embarked on his culinary career, he had planned to open a gourmet food shop that offered meals to go, along with high-end meats and fish. He never imagined his first gig would be at a bed-and-breakfast in Maine.

Following his training at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City in 1993, Bruce accepted his first assignment at a rustic venue that was decidedly different from the big city externship he had completed at Dean & Deluca, the world-renowned purveyor of artisan foods. This job was at a bed-and-breakfast, which had a 45-seat dining room that served both inn guests and the public.

After a six-month stint, Bruce returned to the bustle of New York, working mainly in Manhattan and East Hampton. From 1997 through the end of 1999, he cooked for a boutique catering company and then for a small firm that produced special events for the culinary industry, including top food and lifestyle companies. Among his clients was the James Beard Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is “to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.”

A 2009 trip to Italy reawakened Bruce’s dream of operating his own gourmet foods establishment. Italy, Bruce said, taught him two important things: simplicity and quality.

“In Italy, you can get a good cup of coffee in a gas station,” he said. It was then he realized he could successfully operate his own retail business on a smaller scale. He wouldn’t need “the full-blown gourmet store with a $50,000 kitchen.” Instead, his place would concentrate on the major players: coffee, espresso, tea, dessert items, paninis and soups. And so, Deja Brew Café was born.

Bruce isn’t new to Fleetwood. He once lived in the neighborhood, and his son has attended the Pennington School since kindergarten. Familiar with the area, Bruce knew that residents wanted a unique spot, a place where people could go for a “great cup of coffee” and food fare “beyond the bagel and buttered roll.” Folks who have already tried the new Deja Brew Café will tell you that it is, indeed, much more.

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