A new cup of joe served in Atmore

Published 12:27 pm Monday, July 25, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
It's a good thing Annie Nowak bought a coffee shop.
That's because she's been running full steam since purchasing Atmore's local coffee hot spot, Atmore's Community Cup.
After her first week in operation, she said business has been great.
"I love it," Nowak said. "Everybody has been very, very friendly and coming in and making it a point to say 'hello'. They've been very supportive."
Nowak admitted that in the past she had not been a big coffee fan, until former owner Joe Lambert of Atmore introduced her to his specialty coffee.
"I haven't always been a coffee fan, my sister is a coffee fan, but smelling and tasting Joe's coffee has made me into a coffee fan."
For those who enjoy Lambert's fresh roasted coffee beans, don't worry, he'll still provide the coffee shop with his beans.
"He has a really strong following for his coffee beans in Atmore," Nowak said.
Nowak moved to Atmore from Pemboke Pines, Fla. just west of Fort Lauderdale. She worked in pharmaceutical sales in south Florida for 20 years before purchasing the coffee shop, located at 125 N. Main Street, from Lambert. She said her first business venture has been hard work.
"It's very exciting and scary," she said. "When you're in pharmaceutical sales you usually run your territory, but it's not your neck on the line."
Nowak learned that the Community Cup was for sale while visiting her sister Kathleen Nowak Tucci. They visited the coffee shop and she instantly fell in love with it.
"Actually I came in when I was visiting Kathleen and fell in love with it," Nowak said. "My family lives in Pensacola and even though it's a 50 minute drive; it's farmland and forest most of the way up. It's very beautiful. When I got here I really felt like this is where I wanted to be."
Not only did Nowak fall in love with the business, but Atmore as well.
"Actually I bought my house before I bought the business, so I was going to be in Atmore no matter what."
Nowak said she hasn't made many changes since purchasing the coffee shop. In fact, the only two changes so far have been changing the name to Annie's Community Cup, and an additional menu item, chicken salad.
Hurricane Dennis delayed closing on the business a week and Nowak took over this past Monday. There's an interesting story behind her adding only one menu item.
"The Monday after Dennis when I purchased the shop, we were very short on inventory and Kathleen said let me whip up some chicken salad and we can offer it and grill cheese. We had no idea that it would be the hit that it is. The night before we opened we didn't get any sleep because we were worried that no one was going to like the chicken salad. Now since it's been such a big hit, I've named it after her."
The Kathleen Chicken Salad is now a regular menu item at Annie's Community Cup.
As for any additional changes, Nowak said she's working to make the shop more inviting for every occasion.
"I am beginning to open up the back room for meetings and I've already got three meetings booked for next week," Nowak said. "I've been working on cleaning up the back room and make it conducive for a business environment, more private, but comfortable."
It's very important to Nowak to offer the people of Atmore excellent coffee, good food and excellent service, as well as making everyone feel welcome.
"I really want to become a part of the community and be active in the community. I want the people of Atmore to want to come in and feel like this is part of Atmore and sit down and enjoy a good cup of coffee and take a break."
The hours of operation will remain the same, 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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