Bienvenue à Juny Café

Guests can purchase beverages, pasties and merchandise at Juny Café. Photo by Molly Burke / Jambar Contributor

By Molly Burke
Jambar Contributor

French native Mickael Sopel is the head coach of the Youngstown State University women’s tennis team. When he isn’t coaching on campus or running a tennis club in France, Sopel is crafting drinks behind a coffee bar. 

Juny Café, located at 5865 Mahoning Avenue in Austintown, is owned and operated by Sopel and his wife Danielle Putt-Sopel. Named after the couple’s dog, Juny, the cafe opened Jan. 9.

Uniting French culture and local recipes, Sopel wanted to bring a cozy cafe to Austintown, where he and Putt-Sopel live.

“We didn’t feel there was a space [in Austintown] where people could meet, enjoy a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a little bit to eat and really feel like a cozy, comfortable space,” Sopel said. 

Juny Café’s coffee and tea selection comes from Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Youngstown and features flavors from cafes in Wooster, where Putt-Sopel grew up. 

“We don’t roast, so we’re working with local roasters to provide us with our beans,” Putt-Sopel said. “We really love the relationship with Branch Street and then [Sure House Coffee Roasting Co.], which is out of Wooster and Orville, Ohio,” Putt-Sopel said. 

In addition to traditional cafe beverages, Juny Café sells macarons, doughnuts, bagels and pastries. Guests can also buy milkshakes and ice cream brought in from Columbus-based Jeni’s Ice Cream. 

Sopel said he plans to expand the cafe’s menu beyond pastries and drinks. 

“We want to have a lunch menu down the road. We will have flatbreads and we will have sandwiches,” Sopel said.

According to its website, Juny Café will soon install a pick-up window for efficient carry out.

Across from the coffee bar, the cafe has an extensive collection of merchandise for sale, including jewelry, skin-care products, spices, syrup, dog treats and more. Sopel said the cafe collaborates with vendors from Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

“We also have a merchandise section, which is very important to us, where we have a lot of local products, which are made by local vendors from Youngstown, all the way to Wooster — where Danielle is from — and [Pennsylvania],” Sopel said. 

For those dining in, the cafe has an eating area furnished with French decor and florals draping the ceiling and walls. Putt-Sopel said she used her interior design experience to create the space’s vibrant ambiance. 

“In Paris, outside the cafes, there’s always these cascading flowers and it’s so beautiful. So we wanted to bring that inside,” Putt-Sopel said. “I wanted to bring a bunch of color because I feel like color creates joy, and I want people to just feel really relaxed.”

Along the walls is a black-and-white mural created by Grace Mazur, a junior art education major at YSU. Mazur said she aimed to make Putt-Sopel’s vision come to life with the mural. 

“We decided to do a look that is inspired by a lot of French folk art, and we also wanted it to look like you’re looking out into Paris,” Mazur said. “Whenever you’re there, you feel like you’re home, and I wanted it to feel like home when you walk in.” 

For Mazur, the cafe is the perfect spot to study and relax with friends.

“I like that it’s close to campus, it’s about a 12 to 15 minute drive,” Mazur said. “I’ve brought [Kent State University] friends, I’ve brought YSU friends. It’s so fun and the tables are set up. It’s perfect for studying. They got WiFi, they got everything.”

Juny Café is open Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.