New owners of Fireside Espresso, Brenda Martell (left), her daughter, Amy Anderson and granddaughter, Mailey, take time out from their busy schedules to relax and chat about their new venture.
Getting married, having a baby and taking over a business would stress anyone, but Amy and Jeff Anderson did it all and they’re only 21.
The Andersons bought Fireside Espresso, located in the Swiss Village Shops on Beeline Highway, only four months ago.
Amy worked at the coffee shop for more than a year as a server. When she heard it was up for sale, she thought it was a good idea to take it over.
“We just decided to go for it,” she said. “A lot of regulars know me and are excited to come back with the new owners.”
The idea of taking over a successful business was nothing new to Amy. “Both my parents owned their own businesses all my life,” she said.
The Andersons, along with Amy’s mother Brenda Martell, who owns Paper and Metal Scrappers, also in the Swiss Village Shops, took out a loan and bought the café.
The café is an area landmark, attracting tourists and locals who come in for the coffee drinks, smoothies and homemade desserts and pastries made on site by Brenda.
“She stays up late some nights or comes in around 4 a.m. to bake,” Amy said of her mother’s schedule. She makes coffee cakes, cookies, brownies and quiches.
The Andersons changed little in the decor or menu, except to add the pastries and brown bag lunches.
No major changes have occurred, Jeff says — a few things will make it easier for customers to get their coffee fix — such as the consistent hours. The café is open all week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The previous owners closed up shop whenever they wanted, sometimes in the middle of the day if they had no one to come in and work, Jeff said.
The Andersons plan to keep the homey feel of the café with its rustic wooden furniture, cream walls, leather chairs and stone fireplace.
Paintings for sale by area artists still grace the walls, and board games, books and free Internet are available.
“Almost everything is for sale, including the silk plants,” Amy said.
Evening performances Friday and Saturday by local musicians continue the shop’s warm attitude and appeal.
“We want to take it back from a commercial feel and get it back to the cowboy feel that was here originally,” Amy said, “as little like Starbucks as possible.”
The café can brew up the same drinks as popular competitors. They offer five brews of coffee, 11 teas and nine fruit juice flavors that can be combined in any way for smoothies.
A box of punch cards is kept next to the cash register for frequent shoppers. Collect eight stamps and the next drink is on them. Get six brown bag punches and get a free lunch.
“We have some really great, loyal customers,” Amy said. But people cut coffee out of their budget in hard times. “Hopefully, after the election, people will feel steadier financially.”
Jeff, who works as a foreman at Diamond Point Masonry, takes a backseat in running the business.
“I let her run it, it’s not my forte,” Jeff said. “But the way it is looking, I might be taking a more active role, helping Amy out behind the scenes.”
The Andersons met at 19 when a roommate introduced them in the Valley. Married for a little more than a year, the Andersons added Mailey to their family in June.
“We don’t have time for friends,” the Andersons said. “There is no social life.”