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401 South Walnut Street
Muncie, IN, 47305
United States

The Caffeinery specializes in gourmet coffees, loose leaf teas, and espresso-based beverages. Whether you’re looking for a morning cup of coffee or a sun cured single origin Ethiopian, you can count on our highly skilled baristas to execute your coffee needs with artistic precision. You can get a cup of coffee anywhere. We want to make it an experience!

The business was founded in 2013 by husband and wife duo, Frank and Lauren Reber. Having been born and raised in Muncie, Frank and Lauren are very familiar with the area. In fact, both of their parents had owned and operated local businesses; Lauren's family owned The Music Room, and Frank's father owns Reber Machine & Tool. They are no strangers when it comes to understanding what it takes to be immersed in a family-owned business and it was this unique background that fanned the entrepreneurial spark in both of them. Aside from the coffee shop, Lauren is a musician and professional photographer that specializes in wedding and lifestyle photography. Frank is a musician and recording engineer who specializes in recording music. However, the common thread that connects all of their interests  has always been coffee.




This small piece of internet real-estate is dedicated to all things associated with The Caffeinery, our local community, and the coffee industry at large. We hope that you find it informative and entertaining. Thanks for taking the time to check us out!

Tasteful Art Addition

Frank Reber


Coming back from the long Memorial Day Weekend, you might have noticed a new colorful addition adorning one of the primary walls at the coffee shop. Lauren and I had commissioned our good friend Travis Harvey (owner of Village Green Records) to create a 5' replication of Counter Culture Coffee's 2013 interpretation of the Specialty Coffee Association of America's flavor wheel. Confused yet? Don't worry, I'll explain a bit.

 Travis Harvey (owner of Village Green Records)

Travis Harvey (owner of Village Green Records)

First of all, we should start at the beginning... What's this flavor wheel all about? To try and make a long story short (the whole story can be read here) the flavor wheel serves as a sort of lexicon of agreed upon terminology to communicate flavors, aromas, and textures present in coffee. The SCAA had developed the initial flavor wheel in collaboration with World Coffee Research. It's a guide to help coffee drinkers to establish a common tongue when communicating. 



In 2013, Counter Culture Coffee had created their own version of the flavor wheel for their own coffee department. Their wheel somewhat simplifies things, but also adds descriptive tables containing adjectives for body/mouthfeel, as well as intensifiers. 

While both wheels are beautiful and meticulously designed for ease of use, we felt that the Counter Culture wheel, was more aesthetically pleasing and seemed more effective at communicating concepts without being overwhelming. That being said, Lauren and I had asked Travis if it would be possible to commission a five foot version of this wheel to be a focal piece in the shop in Downtown Muncie. We spent a few weeks going back and forth on design ideas, and ultimately decided to create the wheel using spray paint as the medium. All in, the project took about 50-hours to complete and we're extremely pleased with the results. Oh, and if you're super attentive and have noticed that a few blades are currently blank, good eye! We will be touching those bits and pieces up in the very near future. There were a few casualties with our stencils and the laser cutter, but all will be completed shortly. 

Now, it's important to note that these are flavors tasted within the coffee and not a menu of flavors to be added. We don't carry leathery and meat-like syrups. :) Oh, and before this post comes to a close, I'd like to give a shout out to Counter Culture Coffee for putting in the legwork to design such an amazing flavor wheel. It's extremely useful and while we took our liberties with the colors and medium, we think we did it justice.

New Saturday Hours

Frank Reber


We've had quite a few people (and we're talking QUITE a few) ask us to extend our Saturday hours for a while now. So.... We feel that we are now in a place that we can make that happen without Lauren and I adding a significant workload to our already crazy work week. It's kind of a hard thing for us to do, because in order for us to do more, Lauren and I have to hand over more responsibilities to our staff. It's weird, we actually have to try and do less in order to do more. Weird. 

So we're doing a thing...

We're going to extend our Saturdays by 2 hours to start off and see how it goes. If we still have hordes of people trying to open our doors at 4PM, we will consider bumping it out even further. It's just easier for us to start small and add more later. 

The biggest challenge is to ensure that our high quality standards are upheld. This is always the challenge. Thankfully, we have an amazing staff of dedicated coffee professionals that work hard to provide exceptional service to the fine people of Muncie. So yeah... We'll be seeing you all a little later on Saturdays. Cheers!

Muncie Origins Story

Frank Reber

 Photo from Ball State Daily News

Photo from Ball State Daily News

Today we were featured in the Ball State Daily News as part of their Muncie Origins series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie. We're extremely happy with the story and would like to thank Brooke Kemp for putting together such a well-written article. 

You can read the article here.

Due to the constraints of news, Brooke had to be selective with what she was able to put into the article. However, in this blog, we're less worried about article length, so we've decided to publish the full Q&A that this article is based on. Enjoy!

Interview - Frank and Lauren Reber
Age: Frank – 33 / Lauren – 30

Frank, you mentioned on your blog that you started your undergrad studies at Ball State in 2009, went on to intern at Electrical Audio in Chicago where your boss, Steve Albini’s particularity with his coffee inspired you to see coffee in a different way, then came back to muncie to teach post audio production as a graduate student while getting your masters and then moved on to a more freelance lifestyle with your music career, is this correct? Could you tell me a little bit more about that journey?

Frank: Technically speaking, I would be considered a high school dropout that transferred to an adult education facility (Muncie Area Career Center) to finish out my Core-40 diploma. By going this route, I was able to graduate roughly 15-16 weeks early and enroll at Ivy Tech to knock out my general studies courses. The plan was always to attend BSU, but I took time off to live, work, and make music. I have been fond of writing and recording music for as long as I can remember. There’s just something about capturing tonal vibrations and preserving a moment in time that I find fascinating to the point of mild obsession. So I spent my late teens and early twenties playing in bands and experimenting with recording my own music (albeit pretty poorly at first). With every new recording session, I learned from previous mistakes and made new ones… Eventually, after recording long enough, you learn from enough mistakes that you make fewer and fewer and eventually other people are interested in what you’re doing and you make the transition to recording other people. That’s pretty much how it happened until I was 26. At that point in time, I decided that it would be nice to finally get around to going to Ball State and get a degree. Again, I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in. Initially I started out with a number of different majors (philosophy, dietetics, religious studies, and etc) before I realized that I was spending too much money treating college like a library. I decided I should probably stick to what I was good at, and do something with music and recording. I originally wanted to be in the Music Technology program, but I wasn’t able to pass the introductory exam for auditioning an instrument. Even though I’d been playing the electric bass since I was fifteen, my ability to sight read music was horrible at best. I learned how to play music because I always wanted to record music and was always in need of a subject. So I became my own subject. Since then, I’ve become infatuated with the various methods that artists incorporate to bring the sounds from their heads into the physical world. Long story made shorter, I opted for the Telecommunications program because they put more of a focus on the production aspects of the industry and didn’t require a background in theory and composition. The program was extremely beneficial to me. I already had a lot of recording experience prior, so the hands-on stuff was familiar; however, the theory and science behind these tasks was what I found so fulfilling. Up until this point, I had known that certain things were done to get desired results, but now I was learning WHY and what was happening behind the scenes. Once I graduated I went to Chicago for a brief time to intern at Electrical Audio. At this point in time my education had been limited to digital mediums and I really wanted to learn the ins and outs of analog tape machines. I’d been fond of the work done by Steve Albini and wanted to learn from one of the best. To be considered for an internship you have to submit a portfolio of recording work. At this point in time I had a pretty large portfolio to send. That, and I think my mindset was compatible with what they were out to achieve. I wasn’t a “fan” and was more interested in the recording process than being overly excited about the talent. That’s not to say that I wasn’t into the musicians, I simply mean that I didn’t let it get in the way. The whole point is to be compatible so that the talent can feel comfortable enough to express their thoughts intimately without feeling judged. I ended up getting the gig and moved to Chicago for a bit. I slept on a friend’s couch in Pilsen for the duration of my stay. Of course, I had to do the typical intern stuff when I first arrived like vacuuming, taking out trash, getting lunch for talent, and etc. Eventually I got to sit in on sessions and learn how to operate, repair, and calibrate tape machines. My plans to stay at Electrical Audio were cut shorter than I had anticipated by a death in the family and so I came back to Muncie. Once I got back home, I started recording people again and started offering free sessions with a photo shoot by my lovely wife, Lauren, to reboot my return. I released the free sessions on the Musical Family Tree website. At the time we were planning on building a mobile recording studio and traveling the country to document bands in their practice spaces, but everything changed when I got invited to attend BSU for grad school as part of the Digital Storytelling program. Whilst doing this, I was also teaching post-audio production in the Telecommunications department. While in grad school I had the good fortune to work on various productions aimed at documenting the progress being made by the Delaware County Historical Preservation Society and do my part in preserving a part of Muncie’s history.

Lauren if you went to college where did you go? What got you interested in photography and music? What was your experience with freelance work like?

Lauren: After I graduated from Delta High School in 2005, I didn’t really have a plan and like most high schoolers, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up going to Ivy Tech after high school to take care of my core classes while I made up my mind. Once I completed my core classes at Ivy Tech, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career, but I was passionate about photography and music. This was a confusing time, because it was difficult for me to figure out how to make a living with music and photography. I wanted to go to Ball State for photography, but my family was quick to talk me out of it because they didn’t think that there would be a sustainable future in film photography. Since that was my passion, I felt defeated in a way because that was my dream. After spending a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do, I decided that I would enroll at Ball State and study business and entrepreneurship to buy myself more time and figured that this would be flexible enough to apply to whatever I would come up with later. My time at Ball State was brief because I felt like I was wasting my time reading about things to get a grade that I could be doing to build a future. I decided to go a different direction and start up a business that focused on portrait and lifestyle photography, where I made most of my living on doing weddings and events. Around this time, I was also spending a lot of time and energy on my family because there were a number of unexpected health and life events that demanded my attention. After everything settled down, I was planning our wedding. Once we got married, we wanted to change our up lifestyle so that we would have more compatible schedules and a more stable future. The freelance lifestyle that we were both living was just not cutting it for us. This was right around the time that we started brainstorming and eventually came to the conclusion that we wanted to open a coffee shop.

What (if any) instruments do you two play?

Frank – I primarily play bass but dabble in guitar and keys as well.
Lauren – I've played piano since I was 2.  My Mom was my music teacher growing up.

How did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends and music. I was playing in a band at the time and Lauren came to one of our shows.

Frank mentions he got interested in coffee because of his internship, why did you Lauren? Were you more just along for the ride and your interest grew as you researched or did you have your own passion for coffee formed in some other way?

Lauren: I was never just “along for the ride.” I have always been an integral part of this operation from the very beginning. We did everything together side by side from the initial research and barista training to the behind the scenes operations of the coffee business. Up to this point, I’d always been a fan of coffee, but it wasn’t until we decided to make a business out of it that we took it to the next level. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable opening a coffee shop unless I took it upon myself to learn everything I could on the subject. I’m always learning new things and using that knowledge to improve our shop.

You also say that you decided it would make things difficult when wanting to grow your family but also that you knew starting your own business would be difficult and a lot of hard work, so why did you decide that starting your own business was the best route for you?

Lauren: Deciding to start a business from the ground up is one of the most difficult things a person can do, but there can be no reward without risk. Frank and I did our homework to make sure we were making the best decisions possible, but the risk of failure is always present. We just had to dig deep and work hard because failure is not an option that we are willing to accept. So if the question is, “Why do something if it’s going to be difficult?” The answer is because great change does not come easy. Hard work is necessary.

Also, you say part of the reason you started your business was so that you could have more stable jobs so you could start a family, do you have any children yet or are you still working to be stable enough to have a family?

Lauren: We are the proud parents of two pups and two cats. As far as growing our family goes... I don’t think anyone is ever 100% prepared for that. We’ll cross that bridge when we feel like it.

With your families both owning their own businesses, why did you decide to start your own business instead of looking for steady jobs at theirs?

Lauren: I think the main reason we opted to do something different is so that we could experience everything from the beginning and make it ours. It’s different working inside of something that’s already established. Your role is rooted in day-to-day operations, maintenance, and preservation. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any interest in our family businesses. They just didn’t jive with what we wanted to do. I guess we were both just a little too ambitious for our own good.

With your families experience in business, have they helped you along the way and have they always supported your decision? Do you think having a family with a similar experience is an advantage? Did growing up in a family who owned their own business discourage you from starting your own business at any point? If so, what made you change your mind?

Frank: I think that it did a lot to temper blind enthusiasm. It made us more aware of the amount of work and dedication that goes into making a small business work. It wasn’t out of character for our parents to work long weeks or to have to drop everything to address a problematic situation. These experiences did a lot to prepare us mentally. Both of our families have been supportive of everything that we have done and continue to do. It has been a blessing to have that support system and we realize that we are incredibly fortunate to have them in our lives. Their past experiences have proven to be invaluable resources that have helped guide our decision making process.

What were your initial intentions in creating this business (both personally and for the community?

Frank: We had always known that we wanted to do something exceptional in our home town. Something that was not just considered good for the area, but a world class customer experience. We wanted to do something that would make people miss Muncie. We also wanted to do lead by example and inspire others by showing them that with hard work and careful planning, it’s possible to make the environment you want rather than move away. In a sense, we wanted to be the change that we wanted to see.

You mentioned that you both became certified baristas, how did you go about doing that?

Frank: Anything that’s worth doing, is worth doing right. Starting a new business is already difficult enough, and we didn’t want to complicate things further by trying to learn on the fly. We spent two years doing research before we opened our doors. Part of that research included attending a week-long barista school. After all, it’s difficult to lead and inspire baristas if you don’t understand the job. We made it a point to become the best baristas that we could be so that we could apply all of that research and development into our own training program.

You also mention all the family and social events that you have to miss out on because of your business, why have you decided to do this? What is it that makes it all worth it?

Frank: There can be no gains without sacrifice. We went into this with a decent understanding of what would be expected of us. The thing is, once you get started, there’s no stopping. We have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by the most amazing friends and family (and we can’t forget our customers) who are so incredibly understanding of our situation and are fully supportive of what we’re trying to do. Sometimes we’re amazed that we still have friends, because we are always so busy! We realize that we’re still paying our dues and that we won’t always be this busy. But for now, it’s the norm.

What is your typical day like? How do you balance your multiple careers? Do you ever regret taking on so much and having so many commitments?

Lauren: For me it took a while to find a balance. Photo shoots, weddings, and etc… So overwhelmed and stressed and tired and just every emotion that you could ever think of, I remember feeling. Trying to do a photo shoot on my one day off after working 70 hours at the coffee shop. I remember having to learn that the importance of saying no and prioritizing. To me, my health is more important than anything. I have to remind myself of that. I mean, weekly, if not daily. I have to mentally just shut off for a day. It takes a while to realize how important it is to have down time.

Frank: I have to agree with Lauren. I’ve become a lot more selective when it comes to taking on any additional projects. We are both extremely protective of our down time. That’s one of the main reasons we don’t open the shop on Sunday’s. We need a day without the public. I mean, we love the public, but we need down time for our own sanity.

Frank, you are often the one who writes blog posts, why is that? Lauren, do you plan on writing for it or is the website more run by Frank?

Frank: While my name is attached to the blog posts, everything we put on social media is a team effort. Lauren is essentially my editor.

In the League of Latte’s latte art competition, Frank, you got second? How did that feel? Did you have to practice before competing? Did you come up with ideas as you went or was there a specific design you had planned out for each round?

Frank: League of Lattes is a friendly competition designed to bring baristas together to build up coffee culture in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Each month there is a new winner and although you do win prizes, it’s more about friendly bragging rights. It’s a fun event and we enjoy participating in it whenever our schedule is compatible. League of Lattes is held on the last Thursday of each month and is hosted by a different shop. The last one we competed in was at a place called “The Best Chocolate in Town.” It’s a great way for coffee professionals and enthusiasts to network and learn. As far as preparation for these events goes, I might practice a few new pouring styles the week before, but it’s no different than a normal day. We are always striving to improve quality and technique. The drive to continuously improve is one of the most alluring aspects to being a barista.

I know that you previously had hoped to set up a shop at the Village Promenade, was that going to be a second Caffeinery or were you planning on moving all together? I know you were not able to come to an agreement with the landlord when you first tried, but are you still looking to try again with the Village Promenade or even to maybe add a second location (or, if your plan in the first place was to move from downtown to the village, move)? Also, you had made a blog post about not being able to move in at the Village Promenade and what it would take for you to consider a venue, was this aimed in hopes that the Village Promenade would see it and maybe make coming to an agreement easier, was it aimed at any venue for the future, or just an explanation to readers as to why you didn't end up putting The Caffeinery at that venue?

Frank: We were initially approached by the Village Promenade to create a coffee solution that would serve as an amenity to their apartment complex. We never had any intention of moving our shop out of downtown Muncie. We love being downtown.  The shop on campus would have been similar but unique. We spent many months trying to make it work and decided that it wasn’t going to be a good fit for us. The result wasn’t going to be worth all the headaches and stress involved in trying to execute a compromised version of what we felt would be ideal. Once we had made up our minds on the matter, we chose to go our separate ways. We have no intention of revisiting any sort of arrangement with the Village Promenade. Besides, we weren’t really looking to add a second retail location in the first place. Our next move will be to open a coffee roasting and education facility that will allow us to do business on both consumer and wholesale levels. Our focus has always been on quality and we feel that the best way for people to appreciate quality, is to be better educated on the ins and outs of the coffee industry.

The training that your baristas have to undergo is quite extensive and it is unusual that you are looking more for full-time employees as opposed to part time, could you please expand upon this? What lead you to this decision? What do you think this has done positively and negatively for your business? How important are your employees to you? What type of relationship would you say you have with your employees?

Frank: In many parts of the world, being a barista is a trade skill. The title is not thrown around lightly and pertains mainly to individuals that have chosen to make coffee a career. Coffee is the second most consumed beverage on the planet (the first being water). There’s a lot of work that goes into bringing a solid cup of coffee to our customers. There are farmers, processing/washing stations, exporters, importers, roasters, and finally the retail shop. At any point this coffee can be damaged and/or ruined. There’s a lot of pressure on the barista to do these coffees justice as they are the last link in the production chain. A poorly trained barista can ruin all of the hard work of these farmers who stake their entire livelihood on this one export. This is why we spend so much time training our baristas to not only understand the physics involved with coffee preparation, but the agricultural practices, processing methods, and other aspects as well. This gives a barista a sense of humility and respect for the work that they are doing. One of the reasons we look for full-time employees is due to the amount of training that goes into each person. Furthermore, it takes constant practice to consistently deliver stellar coffee and it’s not something that can be mastered by spending 10-15 hours per week. The other added benefit of full-time employees is that they become recognizable pillars of our community. The majority of our customers know our baristas on a first name basis and it makes the experience more than just an anonymous transaction. We consider our employees to be like family. Lauren and I trust each of our employees to represent us when we cannot be there. Our people are one of the most important aspects of our business. We are a small and tight crew and we are all pretty close because of it.

Is adding a new location/moving locations anywhere in the near future?

Frank: At some point in the future we plan on adding a mobile espresso trailer to our arsenal. This will make it possible for us to do remote events, educational demonstrations, and better serve our community.

Do you feel like muncie is a good place to start a business?

Frank: Absolutely. Muncie is still in the process of re-inventing itself from its post-industrial past. This transition from factory work to higher education and healthcare is a long process, but there’s a lot of room for people to roll up their sleeves and create something unique and be part of this change. I feel that putting in the work and making a place better than you found it is far more rewarding than moving away to an already established community. Understanding our potential as a driving force for change can be enlightening. However, understanding the hardships that come with it are necessary.

Now that you have been in business for three years, if you think back on when you were in the midst of creating The Caffeinery is there anything you would do different?

Frank: I think it would be silly to assume that someone wouldn’t do anything different. Three years in and we’ve made countless adjustments and modifications to improve our operation. If we could go back and implement those lessons in the beginning, we would for sure. However, it will never be perfect in our eyes. We will always be looking for ways to improve. Change is our only constant and we’ve embraced that mentality from the beginning.

When first starting your business, did you ever dream that it would become what it is like today? Was this the original dream or did it change a lot along the way?

Frank: Our initial vision was to start a business in downtown Muncie that would have a positive impact on the community and act as an accompaniment to the already established businesses in the area. For a while, we didn’t know what we were going to do. However, after doing a lot of research of similar sized towns, we quickly realized that all successful downtowns had a few things in common. One of those things was a locally owned coffee shop that acted as a social center. Coffee shops have long been associated with uprisings, revolutions, and social change. It provides an environment that promotes the exchange of ideas and an energized medium to actualize those ideas. So if the question is about our initial vision… We set out with what we intended it to be, but once you open the doors to the public, your community has a substantial influence. At this point, you can choose to adapt and work with your community and make changes that meet both your personal vision as well as the needs of your community. Or you can resist and just do what you wanted. We chose to adapt and reflect our growing downtown community in a way that maintains our original vision while incorporating subtle changes.

A Reflection: 3-Years In

Frank Reber

Today marks three years since Lauren and I opened our shop in Downtown Muncie. On one hand it seems like there's no way that three years have gone by. On the other hand, it feels like we've been doing this for decades. I guess it just depends on what time of day you ask. Either way, I'm thankful that Lauren and I chose this path.

When we first started thinking about starting a business together, we wanted to do something that would make our hometown a better place. We wanted to do something that would inspire others and have a lasting impact on Muncie's makers and shakers. After three years of being in business, I feel like we have accomplished a good portion of what we set out to do. We play host to countless meetings between various parties looking to make Muncie a better place to live and it's been amazing to witness. Every semester we are contacted by dozens of college students and young entrepreneurs wishing to interview us in the hopes of finding the answers they seek in order to get them closer to actualizing their own visions. There is a growing number of college students that are looking to make a place for themselves without working for someone else. That being said, I often like to share a line from our accountant when we first started out. He asked me if I knew the definition of an entrepreneur. I don't remember my response, but he retorted with "someone who ends up working 70 hours a week for themselves because they refuse to work 40 for someone else." After three years of experience, I've learned that there's a lot of truth in that statement.

Lauren and I work long hours and are on call every day of the week. The first couple of years are hard. Really hard. I can't state that enough. When you hear that it takes a new business a few years before it takes off, that's true. However, it doesn't sound nearly as long as it is until you've put in the time. We've missed birthdays, parties, trips, family events, holidays, and other gatherings habitually. We essentially work seven days a week, every week of the year. Even when we are fortunate enough to take a day off from the shop, we are still answering emails, placing orders, making sure deliveries are on schedule, and etc. It becomes difficult to make plans. We are on call if anyone gets sick, injured, or requests time off. We have put our blood, sweat, and tears into this shop to ensure that our home town has something exceptional. We wouldn't trade it for anything. We just want people to know the amount of work that goes into making this a reality.

We want to continue to lead by example and would love to see more people step up to the plate and start businesses of their own, BUT we also make it a point to let these people know what it takes. It comes with much sacrifice.  There is much personal sacrifice in order to ensure the success of starting a business; especially one that is so entrenched in community. The scary part is, it's entirely possible to do everything right and still fail due to a myriad of unpredictable reasons. I was once told by someone (I wish I could remember who) that all successful businesses succeed for the same reason. However, failing businesses all fail for a multitude of reasons. Three years into this venture and we have nothing but great respect for successful small business owners. In order to stay afloat, we are constantly doing research and going over the various forms of customer feedback and looking for ways to continuously improve our operation.

There's a reason that banks aren't all that fond of funding startups; particularly of the food and beverage variety. After all, banks are businesses and food and beverage businesses are risky investments. Far more of these establishments fail than succeed. It takes a lot of different disciplines to ensure success. Aside from establishing a target market, you have to delivery a quality product and make sure it is prepared in pristine fashion. You also have to consider, marketing, cost control, inventory management, labor, scheduling, customer service, and many other elements. We are still learning every day and will continue to do so into the future. That's the best advice I can give... The insatiable desire for more knowledge and continuous improvement. That, and treating people like people. 

Alright... that's enough of a rant for now. Carry on about your business. Until next time!


DWNTWN Lunch Dilemma

Frank Reber

I wanted to take this opportunity to address our customers who have politely suggested that we expand our food offerings due to the lack of lunch options in Downtown Muncie. 

I realize that you are making these suggestions with the best of intentions. After all, there is a demand for it, and you are thinking that we would benefit from the opportunity. We appreciate your good intentions. You're right. Downtown Muncie is growing and that growth is creating new needs for the expanding community. The people are asking for more family-friendly daytime eateries. These people who are frequenting downtown and are wanting to stay longer, but because of a lack of lunch options, they are leaving the area in search of family-friendly dining. That's not to say we don't already have a number of fine establishments ready to hook you up on your lunch break. That's not the issue... The issue is that we have a new niche that needs to be filled. Key words... Family-Friendly and Daytime! There is a growing population that wants a restaurant that doesn't double as a bar or pub. This is new, and I think it's a good sign. I love my craft beer as much as the next person, but I also realize that there are people who aren't into that sort of thing. I get it. I'm just trying to relay the messages that I hear on a daily basis. We have a ton of good bars Downtown; most of which serve food. I think the community is just looking for a bit of diversification. 

So why am I writing about this? There's money to be made... Why aren't Lauren and I expanding our breakfast and lunch offerings and extending our hours for dinner? I mean, if there's such a big demand for these things, why aren't we taking advantage of it? We are a business, after all! MONEY MONEY MONEY!

I'm glad you asked (although you technically didn't)! You see, unlike Panera (which is a cafe/bistro that sells more food than coffee), we are a coffee shop. Our focus is on delivering the highest quality coffees and teas available. While we do employ a full-time pastry chef to create various delicious goodies to snack on throughout the day, we consider food to be an after-thought. It's an accompaniment to coffee and tea. In fact, each recipe is tweaked in such a way so as to lend itself to these beverages. That was our intention from the start. Our shop was designed to operate this way from the ground up (literally). We are not set up to handle food because that's not our business. That's the point of specializing in a particular thing, so you can do that thing exceptionally well. Our thing is coffee and tea. We would love for someone else to come in and do something else exceptionally well... Like a BBQ spot, Deli, or Ice Cream shop. Downtown is starting to hit the critical mass necessary for all of these small specialty businesses to take root and build upon the foot traffic that has already been established. This is not the time for businesses to try and do things they were never intended to do. I mean, sure... We could take on food. We would probably be okay at it, but at the end of the day it would have a negative impact on our ability to deliver stellar coffee and only at the cost of delivering mediocre food (because we aren't set up to do it in the first place). It would be a lose/lose situation for the community. More than anything, we want more neighbors who are willing to put in the time it takes to plan and design something amazing. Muncie is a great place to live if you are a doer. If you have the motivation to create something from nothing and are willing to work hard. This is the perfect time to get involved in rebuilding downtown Muncie. Get out there and make it happen! This is an opportunity for new business and new ideas. We shouldn't burden existing businesses to stretch themselves thin, we should encourage a new generation to step up!