Travis Sundell had been in the restaurant business for 15 years, so he knows running an eatery is not conducive to raising a family.
He got out of the business 14 years ago when his oldest son was 2. Now he’s opened a new restaurant.
But the new endeavor – SunBros Café at 301 Moody Blvd. in Flagler Beach – is a family affair.
Travis runs the business and does some of the cooking. His wife, Leigh Anne, bakes the pastries. Their oldest son, Abrien, 16, is the barista. And Anisen, 9, wipes down tables and helps out.
“This is our first full-own restaurant,” said Travis, who bought the building with his brother, Dan. “We always talked about doing something on our own, in a coffee shop style.”
But the building they bought has a full kitchen and a second room for a bar area, so now they have a beachside coffee shop with a full breakfast and lunch menu.
They have tables inside and during the day put tables outside on the sidewalk in front on Moody Avenue, and they’re building a patio and outdoor bar area in the back on South Daytona Avenue.
“We want that European feel,” Travis said. “Everywhere you go eat in Germany is outside.”
Currently they are open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. They will have a full liquor license, Travis said, and eventually they want to serve dinner but not stay open late at night.
Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company out of St. Louis supplies SunBros with gourmet coffee.
“We’re one of the few places you can get a good cappuccino and a club sandwich,” Travis said.
The club sandwich, said Abrien, “is what a sandwich should be,” with hand-carved turkey and ham, bacon and tomato with avocado, instead of mayonnaise.
“We’re one of the few places you can get a good cappuccino and a club sandwich.”
That’s one of their many twists.
“We have avocado toast,” Travis said. “A lot of other people do that, but we put bacon and eggs on top.”
They have espresso, macchiato, lattes and teas. Leigh Anne’s specialties are her cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes.
They have waffles and biscuits with sausage gravy, burgers and salads that don’t skimp.
“You’re full when you’re done eating our Cobb or chef salad,” Travis said.
They have breakfast sandwiches, including the Florida Heater – egg and sausage with habanero, jalapeno and poblano peppers with pepper jack cheese on a bagel.
One thing they don’t have on the menu is seafood because their next-door neighbor is the Flagler Fish Co. Travis said they don’t want to be Flagler Fish owner Chris Casper’s competitor.
SunBros has been closing off the second room during the day. Travis said they would like to open it for community groups to use in the mornings.
“We’re open to different things like that, like if someone wants to have an art class,” he said.
On some days they have had live music.
“We don’t want it to be like a library where everyone has to be quiet,” Abrien said.
“We’re fortunate to have this inside space to do some of that stuff,” Leigh Anne said.
The Sundells are from Central Illinois, where Travis was a public works superintendent for the small town of Delavan. He was also on the School Board. Travis’ brother, Dan, lives in St. Augustine.
They’ve been open for about three months and have done no advertising other than Facebook. But through word-of-mouth they have a group of diehard regulars, Travis said. They have 15 employees including cook Ryan McLean and several high school students.
“Our goal is to put out quality food,” Leigh Anne said.
“We want to try to make it the same every time,” said Travis.