A Little Time and a Keyboard: Fusion of Interesting Food and Intriguing Art at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe in Palatine: An Interview with Owner Nana Takahashi

Friday, May 1, 2020

Fusion of Interesting Food and Intriguing Art at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe in Palatine: An Interview with Owner Nana Takahashi

Fusion of Interesting Food and Intriguing Art at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe in Palatine: An Interview with Owner Nana Takahashi

Fusion of Interesting Food and Intriguing Art at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe in Palatine: An Interview with Owner Nana Takahashi

From the moment I walked into Coquelicot, I was in love. The balanced blend of art positioned into a magical treasure trove with an adjacent refined cafe welcomes visitors to a truly special adventure. Coquelicot adds a little bit of fancy yet a spot for relaxation here in the Chicago suburbs. Once you meet the co-owners, Nana Takahashi and her mother, you will also realize that while inviting a little fancy into your life Coquelicot also feels like community. Nana and her mother are the sweetest and lovingly create a destination for visitors to get away from it all and even feel pampered. Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe is one of my favorite suburban treats so, I am happy to introduce owner Nana Takahashi to you for a little interview:

**Coquelicot is currently open for curbside and online ordering during stay-in-place. Take a peek at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe for more information.





Owner Nana Takahashi shares Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe with us!
Nana Takahashi shares Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe with us!

How did the Coquelicot journey begin?


It began as a dream for the both of us --- She has been a jewelry designer for over fifteen years and together we ran her jewelry business out of the home. We also traveled a lot together and would often visit lovely galleries and boutiques and wished that her pieces could be featured in such places. On our travels we also would visit many cafes and restaurants -- spaces which we longed for when we returned home to the suburbs of Chicago. The idea remained just a dream for many years, but then a few years ago when I was finishing graduate school talk of making our dream a reality began to gain traction. Our educational backgrounds are curiously not directly related to business (she, in law, and me, in sociology and linguistics) but we have an unwavering love and passion for art and food. It was now or never -- we took the plunge and pulled every resource we had and put in every penny we owned into starting a business. Because of the sheer degree of commitment, sacrifice and dedication we have made. Coquelicot is truly everything to us.





Welcome to Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe! Image credit Coquelicot.
Welcome to Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe! Image credit Coquelicot.

Can you explain what you see in the fusion of a place for interesting art, fresh and interesting food, tea and coffee?


Our goal is to create a space that would be an oasis from the everyday hustle and bustle -- a place where we can excite all senses so that after your visit, you are left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired. Also, attention to detail is fundamental to every decision we make whether it be in our gallery with the pieces we select or the recipes we create from scratch, so you can feel confident in knowing that you are tasting or buying something of real quality with tremendous thought and care behind it.



Stunning and delicious Coquelicot Chicken Salad II ready to go! Image credit Coquelicot.
Stunning and delicious Coquelicot Chicken Salad II ready to go! Image credit Coquelicot.
How do you choose pieces for your gallery?

We are constantly on the lookout for new artists from across the US and around the world. Our goal is to carry a wide range of pieces that are of quality and that are unique so when you shop with us, you are getting something truly special.



Sipping loose leaf tea at Coquelicot.
Sipping loose leaf tea at Coquelicot.


How do you come up with new ideas for your menu?


We are passionate about food and draw inspiration from cuisines from all over the world. Taste is first and foremost when we create recipes, then we consider how plausible it would be to freshly and reliably source each and every one of the ingredients. We also believe the presentation is a vital component of the dining experience so considerations like plating, color balance and visual texture are factored in.


Fresh, healthy and beautiful Shrimp and Kiwi Salad at Coquelicot. Image credit Coquelicot.
Fresh, healthy and beautiful Shrimp and Kiwi Salad at Coquelicot. Image credit Coquelicot.
How can art ease during these challenging times?

I believe art can be a respite in which we can reconnect with our inner self. There are a lot of things that are out of our control, but art is something we do have control over so I like to believe that that is one of the reasons why art serves as such a therapy for those who create.



  Cafe seating at Coquelicot. Image credit Coquelicot.
Cafe seating at Coquelicot. Image credit Coquelicot.
How do you see Coquelicot evolving?

We have always embraced innovative change and exploring new projects. We believe it is more important than ever to be adaptable. We recognize how our lifestyles are changing and will change as a result of these times and so we will be sure to be a destination where one can fully enjoy their experience here while being safe and comfortable. One thing that will remain a constant will be our commitment to quality and creating a welcoming space for those who share our passion and love for fine art, artisan craft and fine foods and drinks.


Thank you, Nana, for introducing Coquelicot to us!

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Fusion of Interesting Food and Intriguing Art at Coquelicot Gallery and Cafe in Palatine: An Interview with Owner Nana Takahashi

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