2 Story Coffee Changes Hands, But You'd Never Know It
Patrons find the same welcoming atmosphere and great coffee at this Athens, Ga., coffee house.
In mid-August, after spending six-and-a-half years on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, including time in Iraq and Afghanistan, Captain Mike Bengochea went to reserve duty. He also started working in a business his brother Matt and he had bought: 2 Story Coffee.
The Baileys started the business a few years ago, staffing the Five Points coffee shop and the one on the Eastside primarily with UGA students from the Wesley Foundation, Mike says. Eventually, the Baileys' family duties were interferring with work, and they decided to sell. The two Bengochea brothers, North Fulton natives who graduated from UGA's Terry College of Business, wanted to buy.
"I think it's the best cup of coffee in Athens," says Mike, 30. "We just want to keep pushing ourselves."
Matt, 33, has been runnining a Honeybaked Ham store near Georgia Square Mall. Mike says that by mid-October, customers will find Honeybaked sandwiches, salads and other fare in 2 Story.
"We thought that when students were studying they might want something more substantial than baked goods," Mike says. "Instead of going somewhere else for a sandwich, they can just stay here."
The brothers are keeping familiar features of the stores: the employees, who are knowledgeable and passionate about both coffee and customer service And the coffee itself, roasted at the Five Points shop. What's changing--besides more food choices--are the displays and the counter, which is being updated to flow better.
While Dondero's baked goods are staying, the gelato is going, Mike says. It comes only in large tubs, and employees were throwing out 60 to 70 percent of each one.
You'll still be able to reserve rooms for meetings, to gather in groups to study and to find quiet spots to read on your own. And the kid's toys are being updated.
Mike says he's learning more about coffee every day. And he's learning how to make coffee drinks--though it may be a while before he's able to create designs in the cappuccino.