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Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I stopped in at the Backwoods Bean Coffee Shop on Main St next to Kermit's in Sparta today the first time. Dave Lineback, who owns/operates the shop, lives up the road a little over half a mile in the Deertrack subdivision on Air Bellows Mountain, on what was once the old Elbert Crouse place. Dave is retired and makes sculptures at home. He opened the coffee shop earlier this year. I asked him how the business was doing after we shook hands and talked a bit getting acquainted. He said he's doing it for a hobby and all he needs to do is break even. He's doing that and better. No need to be ambitious. As long as it pays for itself, he's doing what he wants to do.

A few coffee shops have opened in Sparta in the past, but didn't last long. The Backwoods Bean had a feeling about it that it will make it through the Depression and come out the other end. Lineback seems to have the personality for such a venture. He enjoys talking with people and he listens too. I had some espresso Cuban style. Nice. I'd never once thought about a coffee shop as a place worth spending some time or money. I really just went in there to meet Dave and introduce myself. He'd been my neighbor for several years and we'd never met. He already knew my name like I already knew his. Thought I'd have some coffee too. That good espresso was like a surprise piece of candy in the day.

Half a dozen people came in, all of them people I knew and haven't seen in awhile. Several mini-conversations throughout the ongoing conversation with Dave. It was the kind of experience I came away from thinking, 'I'm glad I did that.' Something I actually never have thought of doing before, like going to a gun shop. A totally new experience in a space I'd been in many times when it was optometrist Jim Rhodes' office. Dr Rhodes would be happy to know his space is now a coffee shop, one with a feeling about it he would be comfortable in.

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