Editor's note: The community mourned the loss of a popular gathering spot when the Coffee Beanery in Berkley closed in March.But, former owner Dan Cleary received an outpouring of support after he shuttered the shop due to health problems and financial challenges. Cleary shares his reflections on the experience in an open letter to the community:
Dear Coffee Beanery Berkley Customers & Friends –
This note of thanks is way past due. However, the past six months since the closing of the Café have been challenging personally and professionally. Hopefully this note is better late than never.
My wife & I are both doing well and finally recovered from the health issues that prompted the closing of the Café. I am humbled and overwhelmed by the ongoing concern and interest we continue to receive from the community. It was also with regret that I learned the Food Truck Café closed after only two months in business (at the former Coffee Beanery location). I can certainly relate to the challenges noted by Kerry as partnerships are difficult.
We opened the Café in February 2004. My objective was to be a warm, friendly neighborhood Café. While there was no financial return on investment, the return I found was from the community that helped sustain us. The business started with a transaction, the transaction then evolved with a customer, the customer evolved into a relationship, the relationships turned into many lasting friendships.
As I look back, memories remain bitter sweet. My wife tells me not to avoid the community that helped sustain us – she is correct. I finally got out at her prompting, as well as that of other friends who shall remain nameless, and attended the Pub Crawl. Glad I did.
Thank you for help making the Café what it was, your well wishes, and most importantly your friendship.