Locally brewed

Owner Dianna Weller stands in front of the new Xpress-O Coffee Co., 325 N. Shiawassee St. in downtown Corunna, which she expects to open by mid-July.

CORUNNA — Dianna Weller, a coffee fan and one-time retail manager who always wanted to own her own business, is about to make her dream come true with Xpress-O Coffee Co.

Weller, 52, is aiming for a mid-July opening for the coffee shop, 325 N. Shiawassee St. in downtown Corunna (across from the Corunna Post office).

However, the store will open for one day, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, in order to host a loyalty rewards program signup event, with a free gift for anyone who registers.

“I’ve always loved coffee and I’ve always wanted to open my own business,” Weller, who lives in Bancroft, said Friday. “I think my experience in retail — the organization, planning and structure of it — matches what I enjoy doing.”

The 1,000-square-foot space housing Xpress-O Coffee Co. was most recently occupied by Bathtub & Countertop Resurfacing. Since Weller took over the spot last September, she has completely renovated the space into a coffee shop featuring brick and wood to create a blend of traditional and modern.

Obviously, Xpress-O Coffee Co. will offer coffee — including some in-house roasted coffees — and espresso drinks, but there’s more: ice cream, bagels, doughnuts, muffins, scones and bubble tea, not to mention a cozy space for sipping, munching and chatting with friends.

For those who don’t know, bubble tea is a tea-based drink accompanied by chewy, multi-colored tapioca balls. It originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s.

“Bubble tea is an experience — it’s fun,” Weller said.

Weller, a 4-H participant at the Shiawassee County Fair in her youth, grew up in Durand and Corunna, graduating from Corunna High School in 1986.

She started out in retail, working her way through increasingly higher levels of management and winding up doing executive/administrative work at Michigan State University. After leaving MSU a few years ago, Weller embarked on a journey to own her own business.

Helping her along the way was the city of Corunna, which Weller said has been very encouraging and supportive.

Also giving invaluable assistance was Cheryl Peterson, consultant at Michigan Small Business Development in Owosso, who provides free information and guidance to aspiring and current small business owners.

“Opening a business is a process, and I couldn’t have done this without Cheryl,” Weller said. “She was very clear in laying out the path to the end result.”

“We are pleased to have helped Dianna prepare to establish her business in Corunna,” Peterson said. “Small businesses add vitality and contribute to the success and sustainability of our local communities. We congratulate Dianna on this new venture.”

Xpress-O Coffee Co.’s hours will be 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Weller said the idea behind the extended hours is to help keep downtown Corunna lively longer.

“We want people to come downtown all day long,” she said. “If businesses aren’t open, people don’t come downtown. We want to encourage life.”

In Weller’s spare hours, she said she enjoys nature and being outdoors, and spending time with Cinnamon, her yellow Labrador.

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