After 10 years, Stacey Douglas said she’s seeking a new owner for her Haddon Township coffee shop.
By Matt Skoufalos | March 19, 2018
On May 5, Espressit Coffee House will celebrate its tenth anniversary at 18 Haddon Avenue in Haddon Township.
And for owner Stacey Douglas, that’s as fine a time as any to step away from the business she’s built in her hometown.
A multi-talented artist, teacher, and community organizer whose mosaic murals grace buildings throughout South Jersey, Douglas said she’s ready for a change.
Ideally, she’d like to find a new owner by the summer.
“I had it in my mind that 10 was the number I wanted to end on,” Douglas said. “I’m five years past my five-year plan.
“I’m hungry to learn something else; something new to build upon,” she said. “My spirit expands to new ground while I have the energy.”
Douglas said she isn’t planning to sell the building in which Espressit is housed; instead, she’d rather sell the shop as a turnkey business to someone who can “take it up a notch,” in terms of expanded hours, menu, or inventory.
“I care about my customers; I care about my staff,” she said.
“I want it to continue for them, and to build upon that. It’s not all about money.”
After a decade in business, Douglas said she is pleased that Espressit helped connect people to one another and to their neighborhood.
She sees the shop as a place where patrons come to interact, not just disappear into their digital devices.
“I think our draw is not just our food,” Douglas said. “I like to think that there’s a certain light that we provide.”
From its open mic nights to the artwork on the walls, Espressit has been a supportive environment for the local arts under her guidance, and Douglas would like it to continue to be so under new owners.
“My greatest joy is seeing how the people who didn’t previously know each other met there, and it became part of their routine,” she said.
“People come there to really relate, and I think that’s the best thing more than any product we’re serving.
“I’ve always thought of it as a place of healing and restoration; people can come in their hard times of life and find healing there,” Douglas said.
“Just consistently coming in and exposing themselves, they have made connections, and their life is bigger and better.”
Douglas isn’t the only longstanding local coffee shop owner to put her business up for sale recently.
Last January, Tree House owners Randy and Tina Van Osten looked for buyers for their 14-year-old Audubon coffee shop before deciding to stick it out on Merchant Street amid a wave of new businesses.
In the meantime, however, Douglas is fielding offers.
“I’m hoping that it will attract a good fit,” she said.
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