Kuppa Joy Cafe plans new location in Fresno, CA


A creatively handcrafted latte at Kuppa Joy Coffee House, winner of Best Coffee for People’s Choice, featured in this 2020 file photo in Fresno, California.

Gary Kazanjian

Kuppa Joy, the popular local cafe owned by a Christian former NFL player, heads northwest from Fresno.

She plans to open a branch at the northwest corner of Palm and Bullard avenues, in the Opus I shopping center.

He broke the news in an Instagram post Thursday with a rendering of the Kuppa Joy sign on the building at 6011 N. Palm Ave.

The post said it will open this winter, but didn’t give many details. Owner Zack Follett, a Clovis High graduate, was not immediately available for comment.

The cafe occupies the space now occupied by Little Leaf Tea.

But this business is going nowhere, said owner George Widjaja.

The Little Leaf Bar, the bar and restaurant next to the teahouse, will remain where it is, continuing to serve whiskey, kimchi fries and other dishes.

It will add a tea counter on the bar/restaurant side so that customers can continue to get tea to take away.

Since COVID-19 hit, customers had mostly taken their tea to go, not staying to study in the lounge area at the end of the building, Widjaja said. So the move made sense.

“Nothing changes,” Widjaja said. “We mainly want to focus on bar and restaurant and takeaway tea.”

This will be Kuppa Joy’s seventh location. The original Kuppa Joy can be found in Old Town Clovis, as well as the Fresno High area, Shepherd and Chestnut Avenues, and Kingsburg.

He has “joy thrus,” his version of drive-thru, in Madera and northeast Fresno.

For Northwest Fresno, this is yet another new cafe. The area has also recently welcomed Bab-Al Yemen and a Peet’s Coffee at Bullard and West Avenues, inside The Post (formerly Bullard Pharmacy).

Zack Follett makes coffee drinks at Kuppa Joy’s original location in Old Town Clovis in this 2014 file photo. He is a former NFL linebacker and Clovis High graduate. JOHN WALKER THE FRESNO BEE

This story was originally published May 27, 2022 12:36 p.m.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A journalist for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other economic news. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.