Perked Up! Coffee Café

PerkyFriends

On July 30th I celebrate the “birth” of this special little coffee shop that I affectionately nicknamed “Perky”.  She was a dream of mine that became a reality that day and she is still going strong.  She was 433 square feet of sweat equity…but in return she gave a lot of love.

One night while taking a walk, I decided to pick up a real estate guide with the notion of buying a home.  What I found instead was a tiny coffee shop for sale.  I remember gazing through the plate glass window imagining myself owning it and thinking about all of the great things that I would do if it were mine.  My patience and willingness to wait finally paid off and after several months of negotiations, I received an e-mail from one of the owners saying they were willing to accept my offer.  That was on Mother’s Day that year and what a gift it was!  I had always dreamed of owning a little boutique type small business…a special place where people would enjoy coming to and spending time. I told myself before I even opened my doors that regardless of how things turned out, I was a success.  I was a success because I had the courage to step out on my own and give it a try.

My son had prior coffee shop experience and he was willing to work alongside me and train me for a couple of weeks before heading off to law school.  That is the only “formal” barista training that I ever received.  It wasn’t long before business was booming and it was all that I could do working alone to keep up.  It seemed like all of the good employees that I found were already working other jobs so they had limited time available to devote to the shop.  After two years of 12-14 hour days and wearing all hats from chief cook to bottle washer, I cried “uncle” and decided to sell. 

Early in the mornings as the sun came up over the ocean, I used to sit at the counter having my coffee and talking to God about things. One March morning (the 17th to be exact), I said a prayer asking Him to send me a buyer for “Perky”.  I knew that it would be tough and would probably take a long time because the economy had tanked, people had ceased spending money and the banks had stopped lending.  God answered my prayer two weeks later by sending me a lovely cupcake lady who also had a dream of having a store front for her home-based business.  The timing was right, she had cash in hand and it was a turn key match made in heaven.  “Perky” was in and out of my life in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Other than being a mom to two great kids, owning this little business has been one of my greatest achievements. Below is a list of things that I wrote about the shop a couple of days after we finalized the sale.  It reveals a little bit more about her personality, what made her so special and about those wonderful people who crossed her threshold practically every day.

  • Perky was a place, an emotion, an experience.
  • Perky was a respite for many who needed a soft place to land.
  • Perky was fun.
  • Perky was homey and full of love and laughter.
  • Perky served chicken salad for the soul, great quiche and muffins too!
  • Perky was a place where friends gathered, old and new.
  • Perky was a place where I could be my genuine, authentic self and people responded favorably to that.
  • Perky had the strength to weather the economic storms.
  • Perky took everything that I had, but gave back twice as much in the way of memories, laughter and friendships.
  • Perky had great music.
  • Perky had great ambiance.
  • Perky played host to a few “celebrities” too…Shania Twain’s manager and Britney Spears former manager as well as a state senator’s son (John McCain), the movers and the shakers, the deal makers, the ordinary people and the homeless people.
  • Perky was a labor of love.
  • Perky was a ministry of sorts.

 “Perky” is 10 years old!!  Happy Birthday to you!!

5 thoughts on “Perked Up! Coffee Café

  1. I only wish I could have made it to visit your little coffee shop ” Perky” . I really wanted too. Business is hard especially if you go it alone. I’m proud of you for hanging in there even when you wanted to throw your hands up and cry. Your a strong woman and I love you.

  2. I never knew this…sounds like the Cabin…17yearsit was everything Perky was to you, just different congrats you made it alone., what a writer you are as well, I’m keeping this short as I can’t see well or write well. Glad we had our time & Nell’s time together. Blessings my friend

  3. Great read my friend, never knew about “Perky”. Sounds like the Pizza Cabin was for us but we didn’t recover from the mall and a 3rd child.

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