A year's worth of preparation paid off Saturday for Melanie and Norman Cermeno as they opened the doors to Melanie's Coffee Shop on North Main Street in the Village of Brewster.
Between now and then the father and daughter team has met local folks who are happy about the addition. The shop sits next to Susanna's Store and is a few doors down from the Brewster Flower Garden and the Brewster Shipping Center.
"It was great," Norman said of Saturday's opening. "Everybody was amazed. We were glad to hear all the comments ... We were waiting for this for a long time."
The Cermenos live in Yonkers. They explored a few business options there before looking around in Brewster. When they spotted the vacancy across from the train station, they knew a coffee shop was the way to go.
"We liked the area," Melanie said Monday as she and her father worked behind the counter.
It's a first-time experience for both of them, with Norman having a background in graphic design and Melanie recently out of high school. They worked together—building some of the furnishings, designing a logo, picking paint colors and making sure things like the electric and plumbing were up to par—to prep the place for a great opening.
The pair said the most challenging part of running the business so far is the hours. They're up around 3 every morning, on the road by 4, arriving by 5 and opening at 6. After they close up at 7 p.m., there's clean-up and the drive home.
But the experience is a rewarding one, especially because the shop has already attracted a couple of customers who look like they'll become regulars.
The menu is still being finalized but items include breakfast sandwiches, coffee, capuccino, dessert cakes, espresso, frappés, salads, smoothies and specialty sandwiches.
Melanie's Coffee Shop is located at 450 North Main Street in Brewster. The phone number is 845-582-0522. Hours are currently 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.