Vinny Soares is only 20 years old, and Fortissimo Coffeehouse is his baby.
The new Union Square coffee shop opened April 23, and Soares said business is getting better every day.
Asked his vision for the place, Soares said he wanted "great coffee [and] awesome food." The menu features panini, and the espresso is made from Italian beans roasted locally, he said.
Soares, and his family, are not strangers to Union Square. His parents bought the site of the coffee shop, at 365 Somerville Ave., about ten years ago, Soares said. The family ran it for years as . Soares said his parents also run some other businesses, including branches of , a money transfer operation.
The family moved to Somerville from Brazil when Soares was about 6 years old. He grew up a few blocks away, near Lincoln Park, and then the family moved to Medford, he said.
"About a year ago I pitched my parents the idea for a new business," the 20-year-old explained. He added that his parents "supported me along the way" and gave him the business.
"We took it down to bare bones," he said, and everything in the coffee shop—the name, the design, the color, the food and the coffee—is his choice.
Soares highlighted the baked goods, which are made by his "Uncle Toni," and commented on the cafe's portable record player. "We encourage people to bring their own records," he said, noting that is across the street.
Fortissimo also has free WiFi, he said.