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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!

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!