The Lovely Ladies of Perk & Brew Share Some of Their Favorite Festive Recipes

Everyone loves a special holiday drink or treat, and Perk & Brew offers plenty! Co-owners Theresa Knazek and Amy Smith opened their popular coffee shop and cafe in the fall of 2015.

Theresa, originally from Ohio, and Amy, originally from Canada, both have roots in the coffee shop business.

“My very first job was at a coffee shop,” Amy says. “I grew up loving coffee. I would usually drink three or four cups a day! So this is such a great fit for me.”

As you could probably guess, they sell a lot of coffee, but they also offer a full breakfast and lunch menu. The menu has everything from flavorful breakfast sandwiches and their signature homemade meatballs to the stuffed Cape Coma Burrito.

And, of course, they offer lots of yummy baked goods.

Everything is baked at the shop from scratch, and that’s something Theresa and Amy take great pride in.

“We bake everything fresh each morning,” Theresa says.

“You definitely have to be a morning person with this type of job,” Amy says. “But working in a coffee shop certainly helps.”

So, what are the co-owners’ favorite Perk & Brew drinks? Amy loves the Coconut Mocha Latte, and Theresa goes for the Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea.

“But during the holidays, I always go for the Chai Eggnog,” Theresa says. “It’s just so good!”

Not only is Perk & Brew a caffeine pit stop but it also offers plenty of space for customers to sit and relax—or even work.

“We have lots of local professionals who will hold small meetings here or do networking. Then we also get students who will come in after school to study,” Theresa says. “We like to provide a relaxed, community environment. Everyone is welcome.”

They offer a shelf full of assorted board games for customers to play, and every Thursday Perk & Brew hosts an open mic night from 7 to 10 p.m.

“We love that night. People of all ages come in and hang out together. It’s a really fun atmosphere,” Theresa says.

Having seasonal menu items is also really important to Amy and Theresa.

“We are always doing special seasonal and holiday offerings,” Amy says. “Winter, spring, summer, fall. We like to keep our menu interesting and offer fun, unique things all year round. I think our customers also really appreciate it.”

“We just love being part of this community,” Theresa says. “And we love our customers!”

Here are three delicious winter holiday recipes they’ve been kind enough to share—including Theresa’s favorite: Chai Eggnog.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


4 eggs

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 can pumpkin

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin, then set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Gradually pour dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.

5. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray (you can cut out parchment paper to place on the bottom of pan as well) and pour mixture in.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

7. Cool completely before frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting


1 8-ounce pacakge cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 package powdered sugar (about half of a 2-pound bag)


1. Beat ingredients together in small bowl until smooth.

Chai Eggnog


Equal parts chai concentrate and eggnog


1. Heat over medium heat on stove for 7-10 minutes.

2. Pour in mug, sprinkle cinnamon and serve with a cinnamon stick.

Apple Harvest Cider

1/3 apple cider

2/3 Champagne

Garnish with an apple slice.

Recipes created by Theresa Knazek and Amy Smith

1021 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, 239.542.6080,