The brown paper covering the windows of 12 S. Fourth Street in Hamburg came down to reveal Four Twelve, a non-profit coffee shop, which opened for the first day of service on Dec. 9.
Their grand opening on Dec. 10 included giveaways, drawings, live music by Dan Sarna and Cory Shelly and a visit from Santa.
“It’s going good. It’s been pretty steady,” said Operations Manager Erica Cogle on the first day of being open. “Positive responses. Everyone’s excited to have a coffee shop in town. A place to be able to go to and enjoy a good cup of coffee.”
Four Twelve is owned by The Bridge Church of Hamburg, but will operate as a separate, non-profit entity.
“If we make any profit it’s going back into the community. Our goal is once we hit that breaking point to cover our costs, 10 percent of it is going towards some kind of community outreach... something that will benefit our community,” said Cogle, noting that no money will go back into the church. “It’s going to go into the community.”
Cogle hopes the coffee shop will be a positive influence on the local economy and inspires other businesses to open in Hamburg.
“I hope it brings inspiration for the community to be able to dream,” she said. “I think that if you do things with excellence, no matter who you are, I think that you’ll have a chance be able to have a positive influence in the community.”
She also wants people to know that the coffee shop is a safe place.
“We want to welcome people into Four Twelve... just have another nice place in Hamburg to be able to just enjoy being together. We want people to stay in town and support their local businesses, not just us but all of the local businesses in town,” said Cogle.
Friends Brittany Fisher and Monique Brunelle, both of Tilden Township, were out for coffee and lunch at the new coffee shop on opening day.
“It’s great. It’s just what we need in this town,” said Fisher.
“Oh, it’s adorable. It’s a great place to meet up with your friends,” said Brunelle who likes the afford-ability of the coffee and food, which she said is delicious.
Fisher agreed about the food.
“It’s very good,” Fisher said. She tried the Mochaccino and banana waffles while Brunelle had the eggnog latte and the bacon, egg, cheese waffle sandwich.
Besides the coffee, Four Twelve’s speciality are the waffle sandwiches.
Shoemakersville firefighter Rudy Arceo, Leesport, had lunch with his youngest son Takota, 3, on opening day. They shared a cinnamon roll and planned to try the waffle sandwich next.
“I think it’s great. Not only just appearance wise, it’s comfortable; it’s a relaxing environment,” said Arceo. “I came in and it’s very quiet and peaceful. With all the chaos that’s going on outside as far as everyone’s dealing with the Christmas rush, come in here and it’s very mellow. I brought the little one here and he’s enjoying it.”
A member of Bridge Church, Arceo said he and other church members were invited to write their favorite scriptures on the inside of the coffee shop walls during the renovation.
Arceo anticipates that the coffee shop will be a great benefit to Hamburg.
“It’s great. It brings everybody in the community together to this one spot that’s going to really blossom into something positive,” he said. “I think it’s going to do a lot of good for the community, especially reviving Downtown Hamburg.”
Bridge Church member Jessica Saniga, Schuylkill Haven, who works locally, also visited on opening day.
“So far I really like it. I think it’s a really good addition to the community. It’s a nice place to come. It’s cute; it’s quaint,” said Saniga. “It helps the church reach other people. I like it. It’s going to bring more business to Hamburg... more jobs.”
The space, formerly home to The Hamburg Area Item for a few years, was renovated by numerous volunteers, as well as contractors.
“Most of this was done by volunteers,” said Assistant Manager Kristin Stamm. “We had companies come and do things at discounted prices for us who just really loved what we’re doing here.”
Starting in June, volunteers gutted the space and installed all new floors, ceiling and walls, as well as new bathrooms and created the coffee shop counter and workspace. There is seating in the back dinning room and out front at tables and a front window bar counter.
A volunteer appreciation event was held prior to opening, which featured free coffee.
“We couldn’t have done this without all of the volunteers,” said Stamm.
Hours are Monday and Tuesday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed on Sunday.
For more information, call 484-660-3703 or visit www.fourtwelvecoffee.com. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.