A caffeinated community

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October 11, 2010
By: John Grimley
John Grimley

// The Coffee Shop Northeast has become a popular destination on Johnson Street //

When the beloved Audubon closed its doors earlier this year, the 2800 block of Johnson Street suddenly found itself without a crucial commodity.

“We couldn’t not have a coffee shop here,” Jenni Horton explained. “We needed a coffee shop.”

That’s how The Coffee Shop Northeast came into existence.  

Run by Jenni and Jodi Horton, sisters who also own the craft store Dabble, the coffee shop is an all-inclusive spot to get your daily caffeine fix.

Although Dabble has been open for 10 years, Jenni says Coffee Shop Northeast is considered their first business venture. The two refer to Dabble, two stores down from the coffee shop, as their “expensive hobby.”

The sisters have spent plenty of time in the building where the coffee shop now resides. Both sisters worked at Audubon, which operated in the same spot that The Coffee Shop Northeast now calls home. After learning that their beloved coffee store was closing, it didn’t take long to decide to keep caffeine in the neighborhood.

“It took us about an hour to decide to open the coffee shop,” Jenni remembers. “It just seemed so natural.”

Along with the site and the building, some of the employees have carried over from Audubon as well. Working with people they know has made the transition from crafts to coffee smoother.

“It’s a lot easier to start a business with people who know the business,” Jenni explained.

The employees are more than just people they see at work. Jenni and Jodi consider them friends and neighbors as well. Both sisters live within walking distance of the coffee shop. Jodi lives two blocks from the shop while Jenni has to trek four.

The Coffee Shop Northeast opened for business on June 28 and so far it has been an ongoing learning experience. They have tried to create a welcoming space that also promotes local artists. They have a little art gallery in the shop.

To celebrate the grand opening, local favorite Cloud Cult played an intimate set while painters Connie Minowa and Scott West followed the music with their paintbrushes.

The shop has paintings by local artists across the walls, which can be bought and taken home after the piece’s month-long display period has ended. The Coffee Shop Northeast will be premiering new paintings by different local artists monthly. It was scheduled to feature local artist Adam Turman on Oct. 9, and Jenni said they plan to have local art openings as often as possible.

The welcoming nature of the store can be felt throughout. The walls are a calming shade of green (perhaps to counteract the massive amounts of caffeine being served) and the food menu includes a choose-your-own sandwich option and a peanut butter and jelly or banana.

“We’re aimed at everyone here,” Jenni said. “It’s such a great mix of people, you’ve got college students, young couples, older couples and new parents.”

Community is a big theme mainly because the sisters hold their neighbors and neighborhood in high regard.  

“It’s a really great neighborhood to be in,” Jenni said. “Such a mixture of interesting people live here. It’s really a good mix.”

The Coffee Shop Northeast is the place you go if you want a caffeine boost, check out some art, hear about the local happenings or just to spend quality time with a good book. The Coffee Shop Northeast is everything you want in a neighborhood coffee shop.

That’s the way Jenni and Jodi Horton want it.

The Coffee Shop NE

2852A Johnson St. NE
FYI: The shop will feature work by local printmaker Adam Turman through Nov. 4.