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New local businesses with a buzz

Three new outfits offer coffee of various types, with one cafe serving up waffles until midnight

Posted: Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Coffee lovers looking for a different place to get a caffeine buzz in Juneau can now choose from something new, something old and something organic.

The Southeast Waffle Co., owned by 19-year-old Julie Patz, opened last week in the Squires Rest building in Auke Bay. Heritage Coffee, which has operated cafes in Juneau since 1977, opened a new cafe on Second Street on Monday. And in January, Eve Bejarano opened Made in the Shade, a coffee stand just outside Rainbow Foods that sells organic espresso drinks.

Patz, who graduated from Alyeska Central School in Juneau in 2002, spent three semesters as a business student at the University of Alaska Southeast before taking a semester off to put what she learned into action.

"I lived in UAS student housing and we were always up late, and there was never any place to go or anything to do," Patz said.

She worked for Java Jazz, a local coffee company, for four years, and she and her friends had a late-night tradition of making waffles, so last summer she wrote up a business plan for a waffle shop/cafe.

The cafe's menu is simple: espresso drinks using Last Frontier Roasters coffee and waffles made from variations of a recipe by Patz's mother. The cafe's hours are from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, 9 a.m. to midnight Fridays, and noon to midnight Sundays.

"I just wanted it to be somewhere where anyone can come," Patz said. "Where college kids can come at night and fishermen from the harbor can get coffee in the morning."

Bejarano, who grew up in California but finally felt like she was home when she moved to Anchorage 27 years ago, began selling espresso at fairs around the state in 1993.

She visited Juneau last August to talk with David Ottoson, owner of Rainbow Foods, about opening a coffee stand in the Seapath Building, where Rainbow Foods relocated last summer.

"When I came to Juneau I felt like I was even more home than Anchorage," she said. So she returned to Anchorage, packed her Astoria espresso machine in her truck and moved here.

Bejarano decided to sell espresso drinks made with organic coffee and milk, although it increases her expenses considerably, she said.

She doesn't want to preach about the health and environmental benefits of organic milk and coffee, but Bejarano said she felt going organic was the only choice that would suit her beliefs.

"I think in the end people profit from integrity. ... Customers will feel that I care about them," she said.

Heritage Coffee is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with its Second Street Cafe and a remodeling of its other downtown cafe on Franklin Street, said Gretchen Garrett, vice president and director of marketing for the local coffee roaster.

The cafe will replace H-2 Go on Seward Street, a walk-in stand that was staffed by Aldwyn McCuistion, well known for his espresso drinks among employees of downtown businesses and in the State Office Building, Garrett said.

McCuistion will work at the new cafe with one other barista. The store will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The new cafe's bright interior is designed to be a sunny refuge on Juneau's gray days, Garrett said.

"When you walk into that space there's a lot of energy," she said. "Even on the exterior you'll notice that it's not normally what you'll see on the exterior of a building downtown."

The remodel of the Franklin Street cafe will resemble the design of the Second Street Cafe, Garrett said.

Both cafes will have wireless Internet connections for laptops and the Franklin Street cafe will have desktop computers for Internet access as well, said Grady Saunders, president and founder of Heritage Coffee. The downtown Heritage remodel should be complete by the beginning of April.

• Christine Schmid can be reached at christine.schmid@juneauempire.com.



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