A new coffee shop has popped up in Burbank’s historic Magnolia Park, but its owners have roots here in the city far deeper than meets the eye. Kristen and Matthew Sagona opened up Three Sisters Coffee and Tea and named the shop after their three daughters: Danielle, Lily, and Skylar.
Three Sisters can be found on Magnolia Blvd adjacent to Tony’s Darts Away, and its dark exterior and modern glass doors make you feel like you’ve stepped out of Burbank and into Downtown Seattle. “We wanted the shop to feel like you are in our house,” said Kristen Sagona. “We want every person to feel at home, feel they are important and they are loved by us.”
The Sagonas have grown up in Burbank and treat the shop like their second home. Regular customers pop in through the door while Kristen greets them with a smile, chatting and laughing while making their lattes in the bar. When you step into Three Sisters, you are stepping into their living room, and they work hard to make you feel that way.
Danielle, the Sagona’s oldest daughter, is the right hand at the shop, helping with daily operations and schedules. Her bright smile is contagious and Kristen describes her as calm, easygoing and a blast to be around. Lily, their middle daughter, is a full-time student working towards her dream of being in law enforcement but also helps her mom and sister in the shop when she can. Skylar, the youngest, isn’t old enough to work at the cafe but calls herself a “pre-barista,” and is excited to follow in her family’s footsteps.
The Sagona name might sound familiar, and that’s because the location of Three Sisters is where Sagona Upholstery, owned by Matthew’s father, lived for 36 years. Sagona Upholstery closed after Matthew’s father passed, and the essence of the family business was no longer there. “Having the building now turned into something built on its foundation is almost like a small rebirth of his spirit,” said Matthew Sagona. “He and I spent most of our time together there. Now I can spend time with my family there as well.”
Kristen’s family ties to the city go even deeper as owners and operators of Burbank’s beloved Pickwick for 70 years. Her great grandfather Walter Stavert and grandfather Edward Stavert purchased the Pickwick Recreation Center facility in 1953 and changed the name to Pickwick Gardens. Kristen’s father, Ron Stavert took over the establishment and she began working at Pickwick in 2000.
“I have so many memories of playing in the empty ballrooms when I was little, running in the gardens, skating, and bowling. When my daughters were old enough, they too spent countless hours at Pickwick,” said Kristen, who was incredibly disappointed to see the property go and dreamed of one day running it with her father and brother. “So much of my life and identity was wrapped up in the property so it made it very challenging to move forward,” added Kristen. “Parts of me still grieve everyday that we had to let it go.”
Framed black and white photographs of Sagona Upholstery and Pickwick hang on the wall of the coffee shop, reminding the Sagonas of what their families built and contributed to Burbank. While those businesses are now memories the family holds in their heart, Three Sisters is their new vision and a way to re-establish themselves back into the Burbank community.
Kristen’s background in event planning and catering has taught her how to serve others, and her love and passion for her family have inspired her to create this business together with her husband. Matthew Sagona and his mother designed all the comforting parts of the shop, including the corner sitting area with leather seats, a natural wood coffee table, and a greenery wall, adding a pop of color to the shop.
The most incredible piece of Three Sisters is hands down the lighting. Above the center of the coffee shop is a rustic farmhouse wood board the size of a large door and from it hangs over 50 vintage style amber and white bulbs. It’s an eye-catching chandelier that brings all the charm and magic to Three Sisters Coffee and Tea.
It’s not just the vibe that brings the customers in, but the menu. Their “Three Sisters Latte” is a signature drink made with their own lavender and rose tea and simple syrup. You can also try “Wake the Fudge Up,” a coffee lover’s dessert, which has warm espresso poured over rich chocolate and whipped cream that you eat with a spoon. Want something off the grid? Ask for their secret menu, and they can whip up anything you want based on what they currently have in-house.
The Sagonas are excited about the future and their goal is to open more Three Sisters locations, pushing the brand into other states. For now, they are focusing on engaging with Burbank and supporting the local community through events, vendor pop-ups, and supporting other businesses.