GRAFTON—When you walk in the doors at Buffalo Flats Artists Association, the smell of fresh brewed coffee fills in the air, thanks to the newly opened Espresso Yourself Coffee House.
Owners Tom and Donna Hart said that they had been tossing around the idea to open a coffee joint since the closing of the Grafton 123.
“When they closed, there was a hole left to fill in downtown Grafton,” shared Tom Hart. “We started talking about the addition to our business to include a place where people could come and get a great cup of coffee in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.”
T. Hart said that credit needed to be given to Mary Kay Stover, who owned the Grafton 123, for planting the seeds that began to help get Grafton’s small business economy get going again.
“It is people like her that laid the groundwork for what myself and other business owners are trying to accomplish for Grafton and Taylor County. We want to see the community flourish and grow into what it used to be, and what we know it will be once again,” he commented.
D. Hart disclosed that once the idea took off, she hit the “books” with an online course in becoming a barista.
“While taking the course, I took lots and lots of notes in preparation of our new venture,” she shared.
After the completion of the course, D. Hart noted that she spent a couple of days working in a coffee shop in Buckhannon.
“Working in that shop helped me see what it would be like once we opened Espresso Yourself,” she said. “I was pretty nervous going into it, but once I got to work, I realized that it wasn’t going to be as stressful as I once thought.”
Currently, the Harts are offering select drinks including lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato and mochas, along with hot chocolates, chia teas and house coffee blends.
“Our white chocolate mocha has been a big seller for us,” noted D. Hart. “As a matter of fact, I had to reorder the syrup for it because I didn’t want to risk running out.”
In addition to the white chocolate flavoring, they will also be offering classics including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut and almond, as well as salted caramel, pumpkin spice, peanut butter, raspberry and chocolate cherry.
“We even have some sugar-free options for our customers to try out, too,” disclosed D. Hart.
Espresso Yourself Coffee House will also be serving up freshly made pastries, cookies, cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes and pepperoni rolls from Euphoria Bakery, located in Fairmont. The bakery is owned by Anna Ash, and D. Hart shared that she is in the beginning stages of her business, as well.
“Her pepperoni rolls are really good. There is something different about them,” commented T. Hart. “It’s in her bread. It’s different, but that’s what makes them so good!”
The Harts revealed that eventually they hope to extend their menu to include smoothies, cold mixed coffee drinks and a mix of healthy food choices, including wraps, salads, fruit cups, yogurt cups and sandwiches.
“We don’t want to have a set menu,” shared T. Hart. “What is prepared and put in the case for the day will be what we sell. That way, we can continue to try new things and figure out what will sell and what doesn’t do so great.”
He said that his motto with all of their business ventures has been to start slow and let it grow, which has seemed to work well for them thus far.
“Business has been good so far. A lot of people have stopped in and given us their blessing, which is really refreshing,” expressed T. Hart. “We have seen people come in that we usually don’t see out and about on Main Street, so that excites us a little.”
D. Hart said that she is really excited to see what the future holds for Espresso Yourself.
“We have a great location complimenting Toad Hall right next door, and it really goes with the inviting community space that we have here at Buffalo Flats,” she voiced. “We have had a lot of feedback from the community so far. People are excited to have coffee shop in town again, and we are excited to be here.”
So, if you’re looking for a nice place to grab a warm cup of coffee and a sweet treat, in addition to free Wi-Fi, head on down to Espresso Yourself Coffee House, located inside of Buffalo Flats Artists Association, in downtown Grafton from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.