Toffee Caramel Latte from Battery Park Book Exchange

Asheville’s Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar shares their famous Toffee Caramel Latte, also known as the “Carl Sandburg.” A sophisticated coffee drink in a plush, friendly environment.

Toffee Caramel Latte

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” We don’t know who first made this profound statement, but looking around, we know it to be true.

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Over the last few years of economic trial, I have watched family after family reinvent their lives and move forward into new business ventures. Instead of wallowing in life’s hardships, they dare to believe their situation could be different… better.

Battery Park Book ExchangeBattery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, open every day, 11 am to 11 pm.

Thomas and Donna Wright are examples of supreme ingenuity. After Thomas’s long-term career in chemicals took a plummet, he stepped back to contemplate his passions. Thomas loved books, specifically vintage books. In an age of digital readers, was there a market for this? Thomas wondered if his love for vintage books could be mingled with another passion, wine.

Battery Park Champagne Bar

He set out to create a business that incorporated both, providing a warm welcoming space for people to relax with a good book and a glass of wine. In 2004 he opened his prototype storefront in Little Switzerland, North Carolina. After experimenting with the book selection and the atmosphere he wanted to create, he move to downtown Asheville in 2008, opening the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar.

Asheville Wine Bar

Thomas now houses approximately 60,000 books, focusing on vintage books, art and design, southern history, and cooking. Not all the books are vintage; the Battery Park Book Exchange does have a large selection of new books, but Thomas relishes in the fact that what he offers cannot be found in a super-store. His books are special.

Asheville Late Night

Thomas has since moved the Battery Park Book Exchange a block south, into a more expansive space and has elaborated on the “Champagne Bar” element. He brought in colleague and former chef, Emily Krainik, to manage the Champagne Bar and create an affordable and interesting “grazing” menu to complement the beverage selection. The Wrights and Emily have worked hard to provide tasty snacks, high quality wines, and rich coffee drinks at a reasonable price. Thomas believes the vast wine market makes it possible to select good wines that fit the current economic climate.

Toffee Caramel Latte Recipe
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The feel of Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar is what I personally love most about it. Its lush armchairs and warm lighting give it a moody, yet cozy quality. My husband and I often go there after dinner, to have a drink and enjoy company with friends. As a mid-thirties mom, I love having an elegant place I can hang out with my girlfriends and not worry about being hit on. This is no hipster bar; The Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar is a sophisticated lounge to mingle, read, and snack.

Asheville Battery Park

Has the Wright’s dive into the unknown paid off? Thomas says the locals come in for wine and the tourist come in for the books. The point being… they come. Good visitation is the key to any store-front business. Thomas is sensitive to the demands of his ever-growing clientele and has plans for further expansion. I’d say he’s swapped risk for reward.

Thomas’ humble advice, “Know when you’re lucky.” He explained his philosophy that sometimes we do all the right things, but the timing is off. Other times, everything simply lines up for you with the greatest of ease.

I agree with Thomas, but would like to add, it was not luck, but courage and wit, that opened the door.

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55 comments on “Toffee Caramel Latte from Battery Park Book Exchange

  1. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted October 17, 2011 at 6:13 am Reply

    This place looks cool and this coffee drink: yum!

  2. Jeanetteposted October 17, 2011 at 6:16 am Reply

    I would love to grab one of those cozy chairs, a cup of that latte and a vintage book. All I’d need is a blanket ;)

  3. Nelly Rodriguezposted October 17, 2011 at 6:38 am Reply

    This looks like the perfect thing to drink while cozy-ing up to a book!

  4. Eileenposted October 17, 2011 at 6:59 am Reply

    A perfect place, drink and idea!

  5. Cookin' Canuckposted October 17, 2011 at 7:00 am Reply

    Wow! That is such a gorgeous spot. I could happily sit there all day, reading books and drinking these lovely lattes.

  6. SweetSugarBelleposted October 17, 2011 at 8:21 am Reply

    I could stay there all day. and I love their never give up attitude!

  7. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidenceposted October 17, 2011 at 9:11 am Reply

    I’m usually not a big fan of toffee nut syrup. I wonder if there is a way to make it from scratch. I will have to say though. That Book Exchange is gorgeous!! I just want to curl up on that tufted couch with a hot beverage and a good book.

  8. Rachel @ Not Rachael Rayposted October 17, 2011 at 9:12 am Reply

    What a cool place! And with this latte? I’d never leave.

  9. Bev Weidnerposted October 17, 2011 at 9:29 am Reply

    Um, can I please rent a corner in this space? I’ll wash dishes.

  10. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)posted October 17, 2011 at 9:40 am Reply

    What a perfect little hideaway!

  11. Nanaposted October 17, 2011 at 9:46 am Reply

    Another wonderful place to visit our next trip to Asheville. Yummmm.

  12. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted October 17, 2011 at 9:54 am Reply

    I truly love this concept. A good book, a great coffee..what could be better?

  13. Diane {Created by Diane}posted October 17, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

    beautiful place to spend the whole day!

  14. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted October 17, 2011 at 10:35 am Reply

    Oh my. I think I can almost taste this latte. Sounds delish!!! Thanks for sharing and love the book store. Gorgeous!

  15. jennifurlaposted October 17, 2011 at 10:39 am Reply

    I would love to be there.

  16. Joyposted October 17, 2011 at 11:53 am Reply

    The coffee looks wonderful.

  17. Christinposted October 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm Reply

    This place looks wonderful! We will be in Ashville in a few weeks and I may have to stop by. I don’t think I’ll tell my husband about it though. He LOVES book stores like this and I won’t be able to get him out.

  18. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted October 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm Reply

    That coffee would be great about now! I love a good coffee house / book store. My husband would never leave until they kicked him out. Great photos!

  19. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted October 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm Reply

    That coffee would be great about now! I love a good coffee house / book store. My husband would never leave until they kicked him out. Great photos!

  20. Lizposted October 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm Reply

    I’d start up my old coffee habit again for one of these delicious beauties! YUM.

  21. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted October 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm Reply

    I would never want to leave that place, I’d be happy living among all those books.

  22. Lindaposted October 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm Reply

    I’d love a place like that to stop in with friends. Love the atmosphere and the combination of wine and books!!

  23. Asheville is definitely on the list of places I would always love to visit. Have been there once and would love to back again and again. The vibrant culture, beautiful streets and restaurants like this one are a few reasons why I love the place. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco.
    LOVE that latte recipe btw and I am sure it makes the place even more popular!

  24. Georgia Pellegriniposted October 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm Reply

    What a gorgeous place! I wish I lived close to sit there and have one of those magical looking drinks.

  25. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted October 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm Reply

    Gorgeous place:) And that toffee caramel latte look and sound deliciously great! Hope you have a wonderful week, Sommer :)

    HUGS <3

  26. Natalieposted October 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm Reply

    Looks so delicious.

  27. Wenderlyposted October 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm Reply

    I could curl up on that caramel leather couch with a cup of that deliciousness and never ever leave.

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  29. Angie's Recipesposted October 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm Reply

    A nice place to relax and chit chat with friends.

  30. Annposted October 18, 2011 at 12:49 am Reply

    That would be an amazing place to sit and have coffee and conversation….thanks for sharing!

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  32. vianney/sweet lifeposted October 18, 2011 at 11:37 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a great place, lovely up of joy!!

  33. Kathleenposted October 18, 2011 at 11:57 am Reply

    I adore places like this. Wish we had more in Socal! Your photos are fabulous too!

  34. carolinaheartstringsposted October 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm Reply

    That is exactly the business I dream of! Good for them. Looks like a wonderful place. I am visiting it the next time I venture over to Asheville. The latte looks fabulous. Come visit. We have a terrific pumpkin panna cotta to share.

  35. Shelbyposted October 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Love this coffee and LOVE your photos!

  36. Katie @ BloomEverydayposted October 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Oh my – looks so creamy and delicious! I would love one of those tomorrow morning. Check us out some time @ BloomEveryday.wordpress.com – we’d love to share some recipes of ours with you too. :)

  37. Sanjeeta kkposted October 19, 2011 at 6:13 am Reply

    Wow..would love to have a cuppa with my favorite book! Such creamy and tempting latte.

  38. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted October 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm Reply

    I want to stay there and never leave forever. Of course, surviving just on delicious cups of lattes :)

  39. Darlaposted October 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm Reply

    This place looks like a place i NEED to be! That Latte looks so good! I may have to give BOTH a try soon, probably the Latte will come long before the trip! ;) Thanks for sharing!

  40. Maryposted October 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm Reply

    This looks heavenly and I am not even a coffee drinker. The bookstore looks even better. I would LOVE a place like that.

  41. Dmarieposted October 30, 2011 at 10:22 am Reply

    what a gorgeous post! thanks, Spicy!

  42. Connieposted November 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm Reply

    What a cute place! It’s cold and dreary here today, I’d love to be there!

  43. Pingback: Toffee Caramel Latte from Asheville's Battery Park Book Exchange — A Spicy Perspective | internetbillboards | Scoop.it

  44. Pingback: Toffee Caramel Latte from Asheville’s Battery Park Book Exchange — A Spicy Perspective | Internet Billboards

  45. Denise @ Creative Kitchenposted November 8, 2011 at 9:39 am Reply

    Love this post!! This bookstore is now on my Must-Visit list when we are in Asheville the next time we visit my Father in law. Thanks for sharing. Btw….your pictures are beautiful!! :)

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  47. RavieNomNomsposted May 14, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply

    UM YUM!!! This looks SO amazing :-)

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