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The Corner Café opens in Vandalia

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:07 pm

By Stan Schwartz

By the end of the first week during its soft opening, Tiffany Cox, the owner of The Corner Café was ready for the influx of people coming for the free breakfast buffet they had sent out invitations for earlier in the week.

She, along with her Mom, Mildred Lopez, had the coffee going and the cases filled with donuts and other goodies. Because the building had once been home to a church, Tiffany wanted to make sure people knew that this was a completely new business venture.

Billed as a coffee shop, she said they were offering breakfast foods as well on the weekends. Mildred said they were open seven days a week—5 – 10 a.m. during the week and 5 – 11 a.m. on the weekends. Depending on how well the breakfast crowd receives them, they may consider staying open for lunch sometime in the future.

They also own the thrift store next door, Bailey’s Thrift Shop. Its hours are Thursday through Saturday and sometimes on Sunday.

Mildred said she was the volunteer momma, and wanted to help her daughter, Tiffany as much as she could before heading over to the thrift store to work there.

By Thursday, Mildred said, people were already curious about the Corner Café’s pricing. The prices listed on the chalkboard behind the counter is what the customers pay, she said. They business pays the sales tax out of that price. The price you see is the price you pay—taxes included—they explained.

Tiffany and Mildred were astonished at the amount of paperwork and regulations they had to go through in order to open an establishment that serves food. Their health certificate and business license were up on the wall to let customers know that they were following the necessary rules and regulations. This is the first time either has run this type of business.

As a way of saying hi and giving back to the community, they sent out invitations for a free breakfast buffet last Friday. They wanted to say thank you to the local first responders as well as the staff at City Hall and the staff at Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center.

But if you were lucky enough to stop in last Friday to see what this new business had to offer, you too, were treated to the free breakfast buffet.

On Friday, the place was filled with happy diners, and Tiffany and Mildred kept the food trays filled with pancakes, waffles, eggs, browned potatoes, sausage and bacon, as well as biscuits and gravy. No one was going to leave hungry. They also had several coffee pots going at the same time. Looking at the shelf behind counter, there are a variety of coffee mugs.

Mildred said that at some point they might buy matching coffee cups, but for now these would do nicely. Besides, they’re extra large, so the mugs hold a lot of coffee.

The only part of the building that still looks like it belonged in a church is the front door.

Sitting at one of the tables, former construction worker Albert Micneault said he had been coming in every day since they opened that Monday. That’s easy for him because he lives right next door.

The next morning, he was sitting outside his front door and pointed to the rubble on the sidewalk. He said the building had been hit by lightning the day before.

Tiffany said it knocked out their WiFi for a little while.

They’ve turned the building into a nice, comfortable place for people to come and enjoy a good cup of coffee and hang out for a while, possibly do some work if they want or just read or watch one of the large-screen TVs. They even have a couch or two if you want something with a little more cushion.

The Corner Café is located at the corner of North Main and East Washington streets. If you’ve got a hankering for a good cup of coffee and a donut at a reasonable price, stop in and see Tiffany and Mildred. They’ll be glad to fix you right up.