It’s not quite like Cheers, but everyone does know your name at First Cup in Marcellus.
The trio of mother and daughters, Karen Pollard, Jessica and Diana, owners of the small coffee shop on the corner of West Main Street have grown into their business investment and it’s paying dividends as the morning social scene.
“It was my fault,” Jessica said, “I always knew I wanted to be a business owner. I was working next door at J and J’s and saw an ad in the newspaper for this place. I really wanted it and mom was nice enough to be my partner to make it happen. It was very much a leap of faith.”
In its third year, the coffee is fresh and the conversation is not hard to come by. Everyone to retired teachers and administration to family gatherings to youth groups inhibit First Cup for their daily dose of morning jolt and fill of its infamous breakfast sandwiches.
The façade outside is simple, a First Cup sign hangs prominently, alerting passerby’s of their specials. Inside, your standard wooden chairs and tables outline one side of the shop while a family room like atmosphere off to the side offers its customers a way to relax and take in the volumes of reading material.
For sisters Jessica and Diana, working in a coffee shop setting proved to be beneficial. The duo worked alongside friend, Sharon at The Beanery.
“The previous owners that we bought it from tried to turn it into a burger and deli shop,” Karen said. “It just didn’t make it here in Marcellus. When we bought it, we were about to put it back to the way Sharon had it.”
When First Cup took off, Jessica had visions and thoughts it was going to be exactly what it was when it was The Beanery. Sharon did it all, Jessica said, chicken salad, sandwiches and soups, it was not only a spot for a hot cup of coffee, but a place where customers could come for a hearty lunch.
“We basically copied what she had going because people really liked it,” Jessica said. “Sharon was very successful.”
However, due to steep lunch competition within the village of Marcellus, it occurred to them to drop lunch altogether and go the breakfast route and serve pancakes and eggs and toast, some of the morning’s go-to fuel foods.
The backbone, according to Karen and Jessica is Diana, the younger daughter. A graduate of SUNY Cobleskill’s culinary program, Diana brings her knowledge and history of the restaurant business. Jessica also credits her with the name of the coffee shop.
“Part of her curriculum was planning a restaurant,” Karen said. “She is very good at cooking.”
Diana also helps out considerably when her mother, the Marcellus town clerk and sister, a bus driver for the Marcellus School District, aren’t able to be there throughout the day. Karen usually comes over early in the morning before heading over to the Town Hall around 9 a.m. while Jessica heads out in the morning and early afternoon for her runs. It’s truly a family affair.
“We have a good little thing going on,” Karen said.