The One Where They Open a Coffee Shop

From Ginger Snapped’s old location on Findley Street, Punxsy Perk offers Punxsy residents an independent, Friends-themed coffee choice

Punxsy+Perk%27s+lobby+shows+off+its+%22Friends%22+theme.

Emmet Jamieson

Punxsy Perk’s lobby shows off its “Friends” theme.

Ever since Ginger Snapped closed last year, Punxsy residents craving coffee either had to choose a chain like McDonald’s or count their losses.

But on Friday, Feb. 28, independent coffee returned to Punxsy. That morning, Punxsy Perk opened its doors at 108 N. Findley St., Ginger Snapped’s old location. Owners Autumn and Daniel Weaver sold coffee throughout the day while Annie Morgan, owner of Abby Rae Boutique, presented her collection next door while performing live music in the café.

“Everybody seemed to like the combination,” Morgan said. “I think every woman’s favorite thing is clothes and shopping, and drinking coffee while they shop, so it worked out.”

Mrs. Weaver said she and her husband had started preparing for opening day a few months before. After buying the space from Ginger Snapped owners Barbie and Zachary Hales, she said she spent the months planning and purchasing the café’s stock, creating the menu and decorating with the help of her friend Nikita Fetterman.

Morgan said she joined Punxsy Perk’s opening crew by chance — someone tagged her in a post Mrs. Weaver had made online searching for live entertainment for the opening.

Punxsy Perk has been long in the making. Mrs. Weaver said she has wanted to open a business since she was 18 and decided to run with the opportunity when Ginger Snapped shut down. When she got the space, she chose to open a coffee shop because she believes cafés match her personality.

“I really love coffee, my husband loves coffee and I really think that it fits my personality and the vibe that I let out,” Mrs. Weaver said. “I think that this atmosphere that you’re seeing is literally me. I’m a walking coffee shop vibe.”

Mrs. Weaver said the show “Friends” inspired much of Punxsy Perk — even its name, a reference to the show’s Central Perk. Inside, wall decor of quotes peppered with colored dots and an orange couch implement the show’s style. Even the menu, which features drinks named after the show’s major characters, hearkens back to “Friends.”

Check out all these options. Autumn Weaver says her favorite is “The Rachel.”

Whether due to novelty, live entertainment or the theme, Mrs. Weaver said business has boomed so far. On Friday, she said, a line stretched through the restaurant from open to close, sometimes snaking out onto the sidewalk. Saturday saw nearly as much activity. Mrs. Weaver said that when she was ordering stock, she had not prepared for the huge amount of people, which she said exceeded Ginger Snapped’s record totals.

“On our first day, we did equivalent to what they did on Groundhog Day, which is just crazy to me,” she said. “We guessed about 600 people came in here, but I think it was probably more. I had thousands of cups, and now I’m out of cups.”

Mrs. Weaver said she has learned a lot about the challenges of running a business from these two first days. Even things as simple as where she keeps the lids, she said, have turned out to be important. The Weavers said this was their first time owning a business, although they previously helped run Chief’s Pizza in Marienville. Mrs. Weaver has actually spent most of her working life in healthcare, not business, and she said she plans to use her nursing and EMS experience to help her with customer service.

Silver Linings Café, set to open in Punxsy this spring, could present another challenge to Punxsy Perk. But Mr. Weaver said the two coffee shops could coexist like Punxsy’s many pizza places, and Mrs. Weaver said the possibility of choice is a good thing, as she thinks both cafés will have loyal customers and “ones that bounce around.”

Mrs. Weaver said she has big plans for Punxsy Perk. She said she plans to start hosting events like trivia nights and mother-daughter tea parties, she wants people from the community to come perform live music and she intends to invite the high school’s Art Club to help her further decorate. Mrs. Weaver said she also wants to offer breakfast and lunch, but to do that, she said she needs more employees.

“My hopes for Punxsy Perk are that it gets bigger,” she said. “I have so many plans for this little coffee shop.”