Bizz Buzz, June 12, 2011

The end of June will mark the end of The Coffee Studio’s lease at 2913 F Road, No. 103, and the end of The Coffee Studio.

The shop, which opened in late 2002, has been for sale since the fall, and while co-owner Kellie McKeehan thought she had a buyer several times, none panned out. Keeping the store is not an option, as the solid financial footing she thought was coming slipped away in the recession.

“We were on track to make our first real profit in ‘08,” she said, “and if things kept going, we would’ve had everything paid off by the end of ‘09.”

But, “we crashed like everyone else,” when the recession finally hit Grand Junction in late 2008, she said.

Business slowly came back, then leveled off. Then last spring, “it just dropped,” McKeehan said. “I don’t know if everyone was just finally moved out of the valley ... I don’t think I made half of my customers mad in one spring.

“Our business has been half for about a year, and it’s just not coming back. Since last fall, the realization that it’s not going back up anytime soon, and I’m not going to be able to save it, that’s been devastating.”

McKeehan has kept a sense of humor as she sells the final coffee drinks and almost everything that was inside the store, from furniture to knickknacks. A sign on the front door showing store hours says: “All times are subject to my whims.” And the last day will be: “6 a.m. until I feel like it.”

The La Z Boy sign was put up earlier in the spring at 865 North Ave., but the arrival of summer is bringing the official name change from American Furniture Co. to La Z Boy Furniture Galleries of Grand Junction. A ribbon-cutting Thursday and a grand opening June 24 will trumpet the change.

But co-owner and General Manager Kevin Meacham emphasizes La Z Boy Furniture Galleries is not a franchise. It remains locally owned by the same people who owned American Furniture.

Customers who come to the grand opening will see a store full of La Z Boy merchandise, “well over a half-million dollars in inventory,” Meacham said, adding it’s all American-made, one of the main reasons for making the switch.

Yoshi Bowl began serving Pan-Asian cuisine with an American twist May 20 at 1230 N. 12th St., Unit 2, in the former home of Aldo’s Pizza. Some of the Aldo’s owners now own Yoshi Bowl.

Customers can create a custom bowl by choosing from a variety of meats, vegetables, noodles or rice. Or, there are a variety of specialty bowls for less than $6.

“It’s not like other places around here,” Manager Sarah Wasson said, adding college students most likely will be the main customer base with Mesa State College right across the street.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, visit http://www.yoshibowl.com.

Cake, coffee and WiFi will go hand-in-hand at the new Brewed Awakenings, which is hosting a grand opening from 3 to 5 p.m. today adjacent to and in conjunction with The Cake Cottage, 2889 North Ave. It will open for regular business Tuesday with hours of 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“It just makes sense,” said Holly Garcia, manager of The Cake Cottage, which already served regular coffee to its pastry and muffin customers. So, the bakery owners decided to take the business to the next level, she said.

Garcia anticipates an uptick in business when the new 29 Road overpass opens this fall.

“We’ve always been in such a secluded spot,” she said, “but I think it’s going to be a great asset for this community.”

Brewed Awakenings is working with a variety of coffee suppliers to design house blends of regular and decaffeinated coffee, and chai. It will offer a full coffee bar, including lattes, cappuccino and espresso, plus smoothies and breakfast pastries. For information, call 244-8672.


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