This particular project started with my desire to keep businesses in Buffalo. I had heard the cute little coffee shop on the square was closing. I visited the coffee shop over the years it was open, particularly enjoying their frappes! Any time I had a real estate closing, oil change, or appointment with a place in town, I tried to stop by and grab a coffee for the person at that business. Just a friendly, cheap way to brighten someone’s day unexpectedly. Honestly, I love making people happy…it brings me joy, so it lifts my spirits too 🙂 Anyhow, I put in a call to a friend of mine, Brigitte Maddux. Told her I hated to see Buffalo without a coffee shop…which totally got her wheels turning…I’m pretty sure right then she decided she was the perfect fit for a coffee house. She looked at the current building the old coffee shop was in, and though it was neat, it wasn’t the perfect fit for a real estate investment- after all, Brigitte and her husband, John, are real estate brokers. Brigitte and I looked at a few more buildings but none spoke to her. She called me a few days later and said, can you meet me at the old Sharpe’s building? It was conveniently located across from the real estate office.
I met Brigitte there just before dark one day in October. She was pretty excited about this one. The building was divided into a smaller side on the right that used to house Sharps and a larger space on the left that used to be a liquor store. It was pretty run down for sure. It smelled funky, was dark, and dirty. Nothing that I hadn’t seen before though. She originally thought of doing the coffee shop on the right side, the smaller side, so that she could have a little bit of seating and a drive thru (<—great idea for the drive thru!!). We talked into the other side and thats when I got excited for her…I think I told her somewhere along the lines of…go big or go home! ha! Along with our husbands, Brigitte and I both have and manage our own rental properties. We are no stranger to to advantages and stress that comes with it. Her original thought was to rent one side, however, neither of us really had much experience in commercial leasing and it’s a small town, unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of new businesses move into the area. I shared bits of my vision with her and she may have looked a little overwhelmed with the daunting space. Brigitte and I have been friends for a few years, so she knows how my brain works and I know how hers works. In just a few minutes, she really saw my vision and started spewing some great ideas of her own. I could tell, this was the future home of Expresso Company No. 825!
Now, let me tell ya. Brigitte handled this process so well. Renovations while trying to keep a budget are no joke. A business is especially hard to renovate…you have to keep in mind revenue that will come in, and if its justified to purchase that really awesome light fixture or awning. It’s a stressful process for sure! Here is just a look at the building before and just after a little demo. What you can’t see….is the smell. It was definitely funky in there…as you can imagine any building is after sitting vacant for 15 years! (forgive the photos, just quick cell phone photos before the power was even on!)
Anyhow, I’ll get to it. Brigitte, is a friend of mine, but also a client too. We were getting ready to start redesigning her decor and colors in the first story of her home when this coffee house consumed us! On our days off, we like to go junkin’….with my 2.5 year old in tow, you can imagine how fun this is! He does a good job but it does make things interesting. We visited a few coffee shops on our junk trips, which really wasn’t anything new…we both enjoy coffee and sweet afternoon treats. We found some really neat finds from some of our favorite junkin’ spots for the Expresso Company, but most items came from my home store, Market 116. Brigitte and I worked together to design her space. I had no idea how things worked as far as functionality for kitchen space, bar area, food prep, ect. I’ve never even worked in the food industry…she did all her research and brainstormed where she wanted the big components to make it work the best. She did decide to use the whole building for the coffee shop…which is great! I have two wedding venues and a lot of times my couples want a place to have rehearsal dinners not far from the venue. Her space would be perfect for it. You can even have a barista on staff for it! (she’s doing mobile coffee bars for weddings too, FYI brides!!!) She gave me the opportunity to design her table scape/layout and decor. Progress photos below.
Brigitte called me over one day once the ceiling was exposed…she had planned on black metal but once we saw the openness of the space with the vault, we agreed it had to stay! The black metal would still look really neat. Brigitte spent some time in Italy, and loved the french cafe feel…she had so much beautiful inspiration from her time there…however, the aesthetic of this building, just wasn’t that two story, narrow row building that is essential for that french feel. Another aspect she really loves though, is industrial! I tend to be more of a “little miss farmhouse” but I do love me some industrial! I tend to mix industrial with cozy so spaces don’t feel as “cold” or “unwelcoming”. This vision was perfect mix for the coffee house. A cozy place people can hang out, socialize, work (there’s free wifi!). Of course you still have the option to pop in for a to go order or hit the drive thru!
Once the sheetrock was hung, wall boarding up…I really got to work. Ordering mismatched light fixtures to go over the small cafe tables (which by the way, my husband built all the table tops and we customized them here at Market 116 home store) and picking up some finds while I was at Dallas Market Center for her space. The walls were a little bold when first put up so I went over them with aging gel that I sell at the home store – its also what I use on furniture – its called Farmhouse Aging Gel in Asphaltum. It brought it all together. I also did some custom painting on her interior doors…Gray Limoage in the Farmhouse Paint with Asphaltum Gel. They really are beautiful!
And a peek at the custom table tops…
It’s not something we normally do, but since Brigitte is a long time friend, and she asked oh so nicely..so for her, we ventured into doing logo design, window graphics, tee shirts, and her large sign outside. Kayla Jovich is our linen and graphics designer here at Market 116 and let me tell ya – this girl is talented! The graphic design for the space was exactly what Brigitte was envisioning. It really made the building look ready for business!
The coffee shop opens next week on Memorial Day. It’s been a long process to get everything to where it is today, but the wait is going to be worth it! Much of the supplies came locally- Nick Houston with York did all the HVAC, Clayton with Bennett Computers did all the sound & security system, Clara Boggs set them up with a great Point Of Sale System, Baldwin Plumbing took care of all the new water lines, the Armstrong’s refinished the old worn out floor, Chapman’s was our source for some kitchen appliances, Meeks supplied the lumber & materials, including the custom siding on the front that they ordered in for us…black siding is really hard to get right and this came out just as we pictured it!
It’s been a great pleasure to be able to design a space, especially along side a friend. Our junkin’ trips were too much fun sometimes that we would run a little late and I’d occasionally call Brigitte and tell her to head up to the shop to meet me to unload a new shipment of goodies for the Expresso Company. It’s not completely finished but it is so close!
I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! I’m also proud of our designer, Kayla for all the hard work she has put it in, and really proud of the Maddux’s for providing another wonderful business in this little town that I love. Brigitte has had a lot of stress over the course of planning, reno, and getting it to opening point…and I’m excited to see where this venture takes her. I hope you all get out on Memorial Day and the coming weeks and support this new business. Let her know how awesome her space looks too while you’re there! 😉 Scroll all the way down to see a menu!
Next up on the blog, is my personal home remodel. It’ll be a blog with many posts. We are completely renovating our old ranch style farmhouse into a two store modern farmhouse!
-Nicole Bryan, Market 116
Expresso Company No. 825 Food Menu…start planning your first order!
Breakfast Casserole with Biscuits & Gravy
Bacon & Cheddar Scone with Gravy
Daily Pastries will include a variety of Apple Turnovers, Speciality Donuts, Berry Pastries, and Individual Quiche with Fruit
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Side
Chicken Salad on Croissant with Side
The Cheesy Joe with Side
Kid’s Meal; Grilled Cheese with Side and Regular Drink
Raspberry White Chocolate Mocha
Latte or Cappuccino
Grasshopper – mint dark chocolate
The Expresso 825 – our specialty blend including caramel and toffee!
Iced Lattes in any Coffee Drink
Frappes in any Coffee Drink