John Heasly has only owned Kaldi’s Coffeehouse and Tearoom for two months but he has already put several new changes in place for the location.
“I’m going to take it slowly at first because I don’t know if this is really going to work and I don’t want to get way in debt,” Heasly said. “But the first thing we did was get the credit card machine, which I think has helped a lot. Credit and debit card machine.”
The menu has expanded as well, including new drinks and food beyond just pastries.
“I’ve added some drinks, just some simple things. The ‘flavored frappe,’ I call it,” Heasly said. “I’ve also added a microwaveable ham sandwich. In order to actually make sandwiches, I need a different classification with the health department and to take a class and such. Which I think I’ll do, because someone else suggested, I think they’re called panini? I think I’m going to start having those. Hopefully I’ll have that by next year.”
More live music is also on the horizon.
“I’m probably going to try and have more music,” Heasly said. “We’ve had music a few times, so I’d like to do more of that. We set up in the corner over there, and I’ve got a sound system, so people can use that […] I’m not able to pay anyone, but they’re welcome to play for free.”
As for what prompted the changes, Heasly felt like it was the right thing.
“I felt it was just time,” Heasly said. “We haven’t changed the menu at all in quite a while, so I thought it’d be nice to do something.”
The coffeehouse owner is looking for community input.
“If anyone has any suggestions for me,” Heasly said, “I’m open to them.”
Overall, Heasly attributes a large part of his success so far to the patronage of Knox Students.
“I would like to thank Knox students for coming here,” Heasly said. “They account for at least three-fourths of my business.”