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Open for Business: Coffee lover wants to serve perfect cup – every time

Debbie Kruse has always loved coffee and often dreamed of opening her own perfect little coffee shop.
This past week, that dream became a reality when Kruse launched the new “Corner Cup” in downtown Jonesborough.
Coffee, it seems, has finally come back to town.
The Corner Cup is, she said, the fruition of an idea that had been percolating for some time.
“The funny thing is, I’ve been collecting stuff for years, thinking I was going to do something with it,” Kruse said, sitting at her shop last Friday with friend and fellow Old Town Hall merchant, Deb Burger. “Almost everything you see in here, I have been collecting. I think this coffee shop has been developing for a long time.”
In fact, Kruse said, she almost quit her job with “corporate America” at least twice with plans to open up her own business, but the timing was never right – until now.
Though still in its early stages, Kruse’s new shop hopes to feature everything from specialty coffees to flavorful teas to tasty baked goods.
The coffees are coming to her from the Coffee Company in Elizabethon. Baked goods are being provided by Farmhouse Gallery in Erwin – a bakery already known as a region favorite.
“The tea bar is in the process,” Kruse explained. She currently offers only the basics, but said she will fill out the offerings more fully as she unearths more of her customers’ preferences.
“Right now we just have basic black and green,” Kruse said. “I want to have nice pots to brew and steep it in and a collection of loose leaf teas, and that will becoming soon.“
The tea bar — even the shop itself — is probably best described as a work in progress, she added.
Kruse’s main strategy is to offer each customer a quality product, with confidence that the needed business will grow from there.
“I spent 20 years in FedEx and our philosophy in FedEx was ‘people, service, product,” Kruse said. “You take care of the people, you provide good service and (success) will follow.”
But Kruse wants her new coffee shop to be about more than a good cup of coffee or tea. She wants it to become a thriving part of this town she has grown to love.
“The Corner Cup is kind of a meeting and gathering place for the community,” she said.
With planned hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Kruse also sees the Corner Cup as the perfect place for young people to congregate.
“Young folks have no place to go after 4 p.m. in Jonesborough,” she said.
If all goes as Kruse hopes, “we have room to expand.” And she already has plans with fellow merchant Burger to eventually offer space for local knitters and crocheters to gather, sip and sew.
In the meantime, Kruse urges local coffee and tea lovers to give the Corner Cup a try.
“You’re going to get a good cup of coffee or cup of tea and probably always a good story, as well,” she said. “That’s the way Jonesborough is.”