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— Though economic times may be a bit tough, two Gentry gourmet coffee shops are still brewing a variety ofspecialty coffees for local residents.

The Lightning Bug - a drivethrough coffee bar on Arkansas Highway 59 - changed owners a little more than a year ago and is now owned and operated by Cheryl and Daniel Holmes of Gentry.

“Business was up in April and May,” Cheryl said, but then if went down and tapered off. Current business is keeping pace with expenses, but profits are small at the present.

To help bring more customers into her drive-through coffee bar, Cheryl started a happy hour from 1 to 2 p.m. and offers a second drink at half price to her customers. She also added a new drink to her menu - hot caramel apple cider.

Adding caramel to the hot apple cider makes for a delicious hot drink, Cheryl said.

The Lightning Bug drivethrough is open from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. That way, she has coffee and specialty drinks available for her customers both before and after work and school. The business is no longer open on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath.

Other items available at the Lightning Bug - without ever leaving one’s car or truck - are drip coffee, mochas, lattes, jitterbugs with chocolate, frozen coffees, hot and not-so-hot chocolate, sweet and unsweetened teas, smoothies in a variety of flavors including real fruit, shaved ice, and bottle water.

Cheryl is hoping the coffeebusiness will improve again as the economy begins to recover.

Wooden Spoon Coffee Bar

A second coffee bar is open inside the Wooden Spoon restaurant and is operated by Chris Unruh, a coffee lover and trained barista.

The coffee bar is open Thursday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. and on Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. to coincide with the Friday evening hours of the restaurant.

Business has been a little slow at the Wooden Spoon’s coffee bar too, though it has picked up a lot on Friday nights, Unruh said. Many have tried out the coffee bar while waiting to be seated for dinner in the restaurant.

“We’ve just had a slow start,” Unruh said. “People don’t know we’re here.”

A new outside sign now promotes the business and, little by little, people are finding out about the specialty coffees availableat the Wooden Spoon. With colder weather here, Unruh expects more people will take advantage of the coffee bar when they come to the restaurant.

On the menu at the Wooden Spoon’s coffee bar are expressos, macchiatos, cappucinos, lattes. mochas, and other specialty coffees and cold drinks.

The Wooden Spoon and the coffee bar there are owned by Cam and Jane Klassen of Gentry.

News, Pages 1 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Coffee still hot in Gentry despite the cool economy

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