By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER – Exeter’s newest shop on the block is just the shot in the arm that downtown needed – as long as it’s a shot of espresso. Exeter once again has a stand-alone coffee shop just around the corner. Since the loss of Cappella Coffee House, residents and commuters have had a tough time finding enough locations to meet the morning demand. But since Staci Welch opened the Exeter Coffee Company last month, coffee drinkers have had another option to start their day in the most Exeter-centric way.
From the water tower in the logo to the décor inside, and even to the name of the coffee beans, everything says that this is an Exeter coffee shop.
“For me, it’s not about us at all because people have to believe they are a part of it,” Welch said. “I wanted it all about the history of the town.”
If customers take just a peek inside, they’ll see that Welch hit the mark. Her logo is stamped on every cup and sleeve, her walls are clad with eclectic ‘E’s and people can even order a Rocky Hill or Monarch coffee. While Welch is not new to business – having run her own photography company for 10 years – but she is new to coffee. However, she’s demonstratred her ability to hit the ground running.
“I’m not a black coffee drinker… now I’m acquiring a taste for coffee like you would anything else,” Welch said. “[In photography] I was completely self-taught. I went to all the seminars and classes… and I can be completely self-taught in this as well, but this is a completely different industry. But I’m up for it.”
Fortunately for Welch, everything was coming together. While she was fixing up her shop, which was quite the chore, passers-by couldn’t help but look inside to see what was happening. With the streets abuzz about her new coffee shop, Welch was happy to see that people were excited. One day, during summer when Welch had the door open while she was getting her equipment in order, people started walking in ready to order. Of course she kindly said that she wasn’t quite ready, but Welch added that was a nice primer to show that customers were eager.
“I’m very excited about this industry and I love people… Customer service is something I’ve always done since I was 15. Coffee is just kind of the medium [for customer service], because really this is a people business,” Welch said.
Before diving into the coffee game, Welch was sharpening her customer service skills at perhaps an unlikely place, school. Welch shifted modes from family mom to school mom, as she calls it. She did campus security for Wilson Middle School for a while before getting the front desk job at Exeter High School. But Welch admitted that it just wasn’t enough.
Then, over summer, she started talking to her husband Jason, a teacher at Exeter High School about “what this town really needs.” A phrase Welch admits she uses a lot, and one day that phrase ended with “a coffee shop.” She said that Jason pushed her to put her ideas into action. Not long after that she started looking for places in town and before she knew it, people were pouring through the door.
Already over a month in, things are looking up for the Exeter Coffee Company which had its ribbon cutting on Thursday, Oct. 5. Those looking for a morning, or even an early afternoon, pick-me-up can find Exeter’s newest coffee shop open on Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.