Coffee Break Cafe to Close Permanently

More than 20 years ago, Nuvia and Frank Cardona met at the cafe which would later become their family business. / Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Coffee Break Cafe is closing permanently after operating in Natomas for more than 11 years.

“We really enjoyed serving our customers,” owner Frank Cardona told The Natomas Buzz. “We made a lot of lifelong friends here. It’s going to be sad. I hate to see it go.”

The Java City sign being replaced with the Coffee Break Cafe signage. / Courtesy Photo

Husband-and-wife team Frank and Nuvia Cardona have owned and operated Coffee Break, which sits on the edge of Valley View Acres just outside of the city limits, since 2009. The couple live in the neighboring Robla community where Nuvia serves as a school board member for the Robla School District.

Prior to opening Coffee Break, Nuvia worked 15 years as a manager for Java City cafes throughout the Sacramento region. Frank worked in the company’s IT department.

“…this cafe is where my step dad and my mom met (in 2000),” said Tamara Myles of Coffee Break, situated at the intersection of Del Paso Road and Northgate Boulevard. “Java City was actually that whole complex.”

When the pair married six years later, Myles said they served packets of Cafe del Corazon roast on which Java City custom printed the Cardonas’ names and wedding date.

“They were both a part of Java city for so long and their coffee runs through our veins,” Myles said.

The Cardona Family (left to right): Carlo, Angel, Nuvia Frank, Mario. Everyone worked at the cafe at various points including Tamara Myles and Kiko Cardona, who are not pictured. / Courtesy Photo

The couple opened the first Coffee Break Cafe location in Carmichael in 2005, then relocated to its current home in 2009. (It had been a Java City cafe dating back to 1985.)

Described as a “casual friendly neighborhood place” on Yelp, the family-run eatery has earned praise for its breakfast options, Mayan mochas, and customer service. According to the Cardonas, Coffee Break was one of the last remaining coffee shops to serve Sacramento-based Java City Coffee.

The Cardonas said they employed more than 60 workers between the two locations over the years.

“All good kids,” said Nuvia. “We love them very much.”

The Cardonas weathered a significant drop in business due to the pandemic — more than 70% by their account — and the temporary closure of Main Avenue bridge during 2020.

But when faced with food service supply and workforce shortages as well as an uncertain economy, the couple sought to sell the business rather than renew their lease for another five years. When a deal fell through last week, they made the difficult decision to close permanently at the end of business on Tuesday, June 29.

A post on social media reads:

Dear Coffee Break Customers, Family and Friends,
After 16 years of business and much consideration, we have decided to close our doors for the last time on June 29, 2021. Coffee Break Cafe will be closing permanently due to the current financial state of our country and the uncertainty of the future.
We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished since 2005. It has been our absolute pleasure serving the community and our loyal customers. We want to thank each and every one of you who have believed in us, for the love and support through the years and for those who became part of the Coffee Break Family.
The memories and friends we have made will surely last our lifetime.
We wish you all a prosperous future of love, happiness and good health.
Thank you for taking your break with us!
All the best,
Frank and Nuvia Cardona

The Cardonas have created a memory book full of photos from their years running Coffee Break which customers have been signing since the closure was announced late last week.

“We have a lot of regulars, it just breaks my heart,” said Nuvia. “They are like my family. The memories I made with them and the support they gave me was awesome. They will live with me forever.”

“I was talking to a lot of customers today — all of the Java City cafe regulars became ours,” Myles said. “Of course, we had so many new regulars join us along the way. So it’s not just the end of our era, it’s the end of Java City coffee and this literal cafe.”

“…some of these people have been coming to this location for like 20 years!”

Coffee Break Cafe is located at 717 Del Paso Road. Open Tuesday 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A liquidation sale open to the public will be held 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday or by appointment. For more information, call 916-641-5808.

Nuvia and Frank Cardona look on as customers line up for lunch. / Photo

Frank Cardona chats with a longtime customer just days before the cafe is set to close. / Photo

Nuvia Cardona and her crew working a recent lunch rush. / Photo



  1. […] BeanHeads Coffee kicked off its soft launch Wednesday in the space Coffee Break Cafe occupied for more than a decade. […]

Speak Your Mind