- Associated Press - Sunday, January 17, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - In the past decade or so, the third wave coffee concept - which views coffee as more of a craft and less of a commodity - has hit Louisville in waves, working its way through the city’s neighborhoods from the Sunergos near Schnitzelburg to the Quills in the Highlands.

Now, with the Stomping Grounds Coffee Co. coming to Valley Station, the movement is pushing south.

Within the next month, Beechmont couple David and Julie Kennedy plan to open Dixie Highway’s first independently-owned coffee shop, selling Sunergos blends to an area that has long looked to Speedways and McDonald’s for its caffeine fix.

“It seems like it kind of stops in this area,” Julie said of Louisville’s coffee scene. “A lot of people don’t want to go past the (Watterson Expressway). We want them to have community. We want them to have good coffee and don’t have to travel. We want this to be their place.”

The Kennedys, who are originally from Valley Station, have never before worked in a coffeehouse or started their own company. In fact, Julie is currently a homemaker who takes care of five children ranging in age from 8 to 21, while David recently became the pastor of a new church in Autumn Lake Pointe.

But after frequenting Sunergos’ locations since they first opened in 2004, the couple has dreamed of creating a gathering place where southwest Louisville residents can meet without having to spend money on a meal or worry about taking up space. Now, they’ve made major strides toward their goal by selecting a space at 10019 Dixie Highway and starting training at Sunergos’ Preston Street shop.

The location, in a small shopping strip near Valley High School, was previously home to a phlebotomy office and will be renovated to fit the coffee shop’s needs.

Julie said the couple plans to tear out a wall that previously formed a waiting room and put in a bar with seats for customers who want to talk to the baristas. The Kennedys also plan to turn a former patient room into an intimate seating area and possibly bring in a record console that customers could spin their own records on.

Future plans include installing a drive-thru behind the shopping strip and adding a kitchen in the back of the building where the Kennedys could make their own baked goods. Until then, the couple hopes to sell products from other local businesses - such as the nearby Donut Express.

David said he and his wife hope to use their shop as a way to increase awareness of local options while acknowledging that the artisanal coffee concept that has taken over Metro Louisville may be strange for some southwest customers at first.

“I think with us opening a coffee shop and we’re from here, I think that’s an element of credibility,” David said. “We’re one of them. We’re hoping that because we’re from here and we live here, that people don’t mind paying an extra 50 cents per cup of coffee.”


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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