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Marcellus’ First Cup Coffee Café loses lease, will close Saturday after eight years in busines

November 10, 2016

MARCELLUS — The village of Marcellus’ First Cup Coffee Café will close and lock up its doors for good Saturday, Nov. 12.

“The building sold, and we lost our lease,” owner Karen Pollard said.

The business was given to the end of November, but Pollard said there was really no reason to keep going after getting this devastating news.

Pollard and her two daughters, Jess Wiers and Diana Spencer, have been operating the First Cup at 24 W. Main St. for the past eight years.

“It was unexpected and done quickly,” Pollard said.

“The fact that we never met this guy and it was so abrupt is upsetting,” Spencer said, adding that she will find something else to do but noting that their customers are really upset as well. “A lot of our customers are not happy about this.”

The building’s new owner is Bob Halpin, who owns J&J Pizza at 24 W. Main St. — located alongside the First Cup on the first floor of the building.

He said he had spoken to Wiers about combining the operations, but the idea fell through. He hasn’t made any plans for the space yet, as he has already run into unexpected building repairs since the closing.

For Pollard, who is also the Marcellus town supervisor, it is actually bittersweet as she is ready to retire from the business. But, she would have liked the business the family built up to endure.

“We put a lot of hard work into this endeavor,” she said. “We met so many nice people, repeat customers — some we don’t even know their names — and we have friendships.”

Both Spencer and Wiers had worked for a coffee shop called The Beanery in the same location before opening the First Cup. Pollard said Spencer was really the food person, coming up with menus and recipes.

Spencer said she is hoping to find something else nearby in the restaurant business, as she would like to take this opportunity to take a break and get some balance back in her life. She said she has been cooking and washing dishes all day for other people then going home and eating prepared food.

“The day-to-day responsibility won’t be missed,” she said. “It’s the people.”

Pollard said Wiers is already working at Doug’s Fish Fry in Skaneateles, so she hasn’t been left in the lurch.

Asia Murphy owns EMS Bakery in the village of Marcellus and plans on expanding the bakery’s breakfast and coffee offerings to pick up customers of the First Cup Coffee Café that will close soon.

“We’d love to see Asia (Murphy) at EMS Bakery pick up our coffee customers, as they will need somewhere to go,” Pollard said.

Murphy owns EMS — which stands for Eat More Sweets — down the street from the First Cup at 14 W. Main Street.

Murphy is on board with the idea. She already offers fresh brewed coffee but is in the process of adding an espresso machine, having spent a couple of hours with local roaster Matt Goddard of Cafe Kubal. She will also offer smoothies and breakfast sandwiches, as the First Cup did.

“I do plan on picking up that business by offering grab-and-go breakfasts,” Murphy said.

EMS currently opens at 8 a.m., but starting Monday, Nov. 14, Murphy plans on opening up at 6 a.m. toward this effort.