Patrick Yauch just woke up one morning and decided he wanted to run a coffee shop, says Teresa, his wife of 25 years.
“I don’t know what came over him,” she said, laughing.
“I just thought it’d be neat,” Patrick said.
On South Third Street in Smithfield, the couple from Clayton found the perfect spot for Patrick to realize his dream. Grapes & Grounds is a coffee shop with plans to offer wine and craft beer, Patrick said, along with pastries and, eventually, an appetizer menu.
The couple, along with Patrick’s mother, Patty, opened their doors recently, though they’ve yet to hold their grand opening.
“We’re just sort of feeling our way through things,” Patrick said. “We want to make sure things are consistent.”
The couple gutted the storefront at 135 S. Third St., stripping the commercial space nearly bare and starting over. It had been empty for four years before the couple purchased the building.
“It wasn’t in good shape,” Patrick said.
Teresa had gone along with her husband’s idea, but when she saw the space, she said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“It needed so much work,” Patrick said. It did – months of it.
“They did all the work themselves,” Patty said of her son and daughter-in-law.
Within about an hour of buying the building, Patrick and Teresa were “bringing stuff down” inside, Patty said.
“There’s just something about Smithfield,” Patrick said. “I think it’s really cool.”
The space had been Gordon’s Cafe and a soda shop in the 1940s, the couple said. More recently, it was home to The Galley sandwich shop and its successor, Marla’s.
White and green paint and exposed brick brightened and widened the space. New ceramic tile lines the floors. On a shining new countertop sits a gleaming behemoth – a bright red professional espresso machine.
The coffee shop gets its beans each week from Java Estate Roastery in Wilmington and grinds them in house. The Yauchs offer a full-service coffee bar, and Patrick said he’ll make whatever his customers ask for.
“I want people to know they can come here and get what they want,” he said.
The shop also offers frozen coffee drinks and smoothies, along with pastries from the Cyber Cafe in Smithfield. The Yauchs plan to add an appetizer menu when they introduce wine and beer. Patrick asked that folks stay tuned to the Grapes & Grounds Facebook page for updates.
They plan to host movie nights in partnership with the theater next door. The idea, the couple said, is that while the kids watch a movie, mom and dad relax next doors.
Mom Patty also offers jewelry and other accessories in a nook at the shop called “Garnetta’s.”
“It’s a family enterprise,” Patty said.
Also opening in Smithfield recently:
Suzanne Brewer Photography
Suzanne Brewer operated her photography business out of her home, but when she began to transition from wedding photography to high school senior and pageant portraits, she needed a studio.
She found it 103 S. Third St.
“I needed a space to shoot and meet with clients,” said Brewer, a full-time photographer who has been in Smithfield for about four years.
“What makes us unique is we provide more of an experience for clients,” she said. “We provide hair and makeup so you can get pampered. It’s more of a luxe, boutique-type experience.”
For more information, find Suzanne Brewer Photography on Facebook.
Riverside Resources, a project management and consulting firm owned by U.S. Navy veteran Greg Purdy, has set up shop located at 105 S. Third Street.
The firm has operated in Smithfield since 2007, but made the move to Third Street because it’s “very interested in helping downtown and improving things going on downtown,” Purdy said.
Five years ago, Purdy bought the building that is home to Simple Twist restaurant and installed solar panels on the roof. Profits from the sale of electricity buy backpacks for needy Johnston County students, Purdy said.
“Johnston County is central to a lot of our clients, and with the amount of activities and development in downtown Smithfield, we knew this was the place we wanted to open the new location,” Purdy said.
Riverside Resources employs 20 to 30 people at a time, depending on the project, Purdy said. Many are veterans, especially those who served in technical fields, including nuclear technology.
For more information, go to riverside-resources.com.
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Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett