Neighborhoods like these are scattered everywhere across our nation in small cities and villages and low-income urban centers. I am surprised no one has launched a non-profit to provide low-interest loans, professional advice and networking contacts to entrepreneurs considering opening independent coffee shops in areas designated "Indie-Coffee Shop Desserts." (Coined after USDA's "food desserts.")
For half a year, I've been wondering how the Waterloo Arts District has survived without a coffee shop, and luckily one entrepreneur, Kimberly Homan, is changing that this fall when she opens Bright Coffee Bar in a rehabilitated building on the corner of East 161 Street and Waterloo Road. In addition Loudonville, a small Ashland County village near Matt lives, is also getting a coffee shop called MUGS. It's even going to be a non-profit one. I can't wait for Bethany Paterson to finish the coffee shop's interior work and open it up.
Let's hope more entrepreneurial spirit burgeon these neighborhoods below as well.
|I am keeping a close eye on the exciting developments in|
It was only a few years ago when a coffee shop was sitting across the street from LaSalle Threatre. It closed a few years back. Since then, the space has been home to a chocolate candy outlet, and soon a gourmet fruit bar shop.
I am hoping a new business development initiative by Northeast Shores Development Corp., might get a new neighborhood coffee shop on its feet.
|Fairport Harbor - There's plenty of exposed brick to love.|
Now there are some challenges, or so I've learned. For one, only a few of the vacant storefronts here come equipped with the plumbing and utilities for a working kitchen, requiring plenty of capital investment. Secondly, the village's outsider traffic dramatically falls when beach season ends. But those are two obstacles I've seen other communities overcome.
Fairport Harbor this summer hired an economic development coordinator with some long-time experience in marketing. If Kathie Pohl is reading this, I think a coffee shop with expanded Tuesday evening hours could make a great first priority in the village.
This is a stretch of Main Street, beginning from Sidewalk Cafe. Right now,
the street is full of construction.
I've heard stories of downtown Painesville actually once having an Arabica coffee shop. I am sure those times were incredible, but I am tired of hearing about what Painesville once and doesn't anymore. I am far more focused on what it could have. Painesville still has some very unique and historic buildings along Mentor Avenue, State Street and Main Street, a steadily growing population and some organized momentum to set it on the right direction for being an arts destination between Ashtabula's Bridge Street and downtown Willoughby. Not to mention, downtown Painesville also has the Morely Library--the most beautiful library my eyes have yet to grace.
|Photo courtesy of John Ridinger of Wikipedia. Yeah, I decided not to|
drive an hour south to take a scenic photo of downtown Ravenna.
The same fortune has not reached downtown Ravenna, a neighborhood that is approximately five miles away from my college town. I am not suggesting downtown Ravenna should morph into downtown Kent 2.0, but entrepreneurs should consider leveraging traffic from Ohio's second largest university and start a coffee shop. City leaders should try to do the same if they aren't already.
Ravenna is a small Western Reserve city and I see so much potential. I have a few friends, even post-college friends, who prefer living in downtown Ravenna versus downtown Kent.
Do you know of a neighborhood that needs an independent coffee shop? Post below.
Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.