CHESANING — The process has been slower than expected, but Big Rock Coffee and Events is still coming to downtown Chesaning.
Husband and wife Nick and Amanda Hauman, along with Nick’s mother, Julie O’Dell, and her husband, Steve O’Dell, are co-owners of the impending coffee shop, which was previously scheduled to open its doors in January.
However, a series of unexpected delays has kicked that initial timeline to splinters. The Haumans and O’Dells are now targeting what Amanda Hauman calls an “optimistic” opening date of the first week of April.
The Haumans’ fall was given over to the fulfillment of prior career obligations.
Originally from the Chesaning area, the couple had moved to Kansas for three years after Nick Hauman landed a job as a sociology professor at Benedictine College, a liberal arts college in Atchison, Kan. Nick Hauman continued to teach through the fall, and Amanda Hauman’s return to Chesaning was delayed when she stayed on as artistic director at the theater she worked at until someone else could be hired for the position.
The Haumans getting held up in Kansas might not have spelled doom for Big Rock Coffee and Events’ January opening by itself, but the senior (by age) half of the ownership group had its own tripwires to navigate.
Steve O’Dell, who has effectively functioned as the head contractor for the renovation of the coffee shop’s 226 W. Broad St. premises, had a serious scare this fall when a cancerous tumor was found inside his mouth.
“It put us in a bit of a delay, not just because of treatment, but because of the repercussions of healing,” O’Dell said.
Thankfully, O’Dell is now cancer free.
Despite the delays, progress continues to be made. Just last week a large sign bearing the legend “Coffee,” desinged by Nick’s father Dan Hauman, made its storefront debut.
Amanda Hauman said the business will have a soft opening on a to-be-determined Saturday about a week before its grand opening, where people can come to the shop and get to know the owners. She said this two-tiered opening arrangement gives the business the chance to operate with fewer numbers the first week leading up to the grand opening.
Each of the four co-owners will have their own niche at Big Rock when it finally comes to full fruition. Amanda Hauman will be the general manager in charge of events and marketing. Nick Hauman will be the daily operations manager and the head coffee roaster. Julie O’Dell will be the kitchen manager and head baker, and Steve O’Dell will act as the building’s and maintenance manager.
As the “events” portion of “Big Rock Coffee and Events” would indicate, the business will offer more than simply coffee and baked goods. The co-owners are looking to host a wide variety of events, ranging from business meetings in a conference room which can freely be reserved upon request — and comes with a discounted coffee package — to artistic performances on the planned stage, where people perform music, poetry or other forms of entertainment.
They’ve also thought about hosting board game, trivia and karaoke nights.
Once the shop finally opens, planned business hours will run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. If business is good, added staff and expanded hours are possibilities.
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