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3/16/2003

A cup of creativity

By Elisabeth Nardi
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — The new owners of Longmont’s Java Stop are turning their coffee shop into a family affair.

Last month, Kevin and Ellen Galm bought the coffee shop, which has been a fixture in Longmont since 1992. They said this new venture gives them the time they want with their children and that they are going to continue to make Java Stop a family-friendly place.

They said their two girls, 10-year-old Cicely and 7-year-old Olivia, are excited about the shop.

“It was a way to bring our family together,” Ellen said. “This is a labor of love, and the focus is really on our kids.”

Ellen said the hours of the shop allow them more time with their children after school. Java Stop is open 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Galms said that while there might be some changes, regulars don’t have to worry.

“I want people to feel a smooth and easy transition. It’s our No. 1 focus,” said Ellen, herself a Java Stop regular for more than 10 years.

She said one of the things she has always liked about Java Stop is that there are the business people in the early morning and moms and kids later on.

The couple bought the shop from Jody Evans, who owned it for the past five years.

The 1,500-square-foot store is at Third Avenue and Main Street in the historic Imperial Hotel, which was built in 1880 and is one of Longmont’s oldest buildings.

The Galms said changes to Java Stop are still in the planning. Among seating changes will be more couches in the back. And while the murals of the blue moon and the mountains will remain intact, the Galms are planning to paint the interior.

They also have created a kids’ closet that holds toys, and eventually they want to offer live music.

“There is no place where parents can bring their kids to an alcohol-free music experience,” Ellen said. “And music is such a great part of life.”

They plan on keeping the shop’s original recipes for the homemade chai tea and coffee drinks, and they will continue to use Allegro brand coffee. They might add tea lattes and decaf chai.

In addition to the treats they already offer, the Galms might add a lunch menu. Kevin already makes his own chocolate chip cookies with a little espresso and coconut in them.

“You dunk one in your coffee, and you’re going to need heart medication,” Kevin said.

Suzanne Hershberger, a Java Stop regular and stay-at-home mom, said she comes to the coffee shop to get time to write by herself.

“If I stayed at home, I would be doing laundry,” Hershberger said while sipping coffee and writing at a small table in Java Stop. “Other places can be sterile, and all the chairs are the same. It’s a more creative place with all kinds of people.”

Kevin and Ellen have lived in Longmont for 12 years. Ellen is a manager at the Pier 1 in town, which means she has been pulling double duty for a while. She will leave Pier 1 at the end of March.

Kevin has worked at area restaurants and for a youth-at-risk program near Jamestown.

For now, the couple is running the show alone. Kevin works full time at the shop, with Ellen helping out as much as possible in between her duties at Pier One. They have no employees but said that in the future, they may extend the shop’s hours and hire help.