Reed City resident hopes to bring people together with coffeehouse

REED CITY — Juanita Ripley didn't always like coffee. In fact, up until five years ago, she never drank it.

"I started with McDonald's when they came out with their iced coffee and then progressed with their mochas," Ripley said. "Then I discovered Biggby."

Now, she's preparing to open her own coffeehouse in Reed City complete with specialty drinks, coffee blends in an inviting setting. The business will be located in the plaza near Vic's Supermarket, next to Head to Toe Salon and Spa. Ripley is hoping to fill a need in Reed City for people who love to drink specialty coffee, want to support local business and desire a relaxing setting to meet with friends or take care of work away from the office.

The business will provide a large couch, bookshelves, a number of tables and even a children's area that offers a television and games. In addition, she will offer free Wi-Fi for customers who wish to bring in their laptops.

"I like to go to a coffee shop, hang out and take my kids with me," Ripley said. "That's important to me, and I want to give that opportunity for other people."

Juanita's Coffeehouse also will offer pre-packaged baked goods, bagged coffee blends, cups and mugs. Ripley wants to draw patrons into the business using nostalgia and slightly country feel.

"Coffeehouses bring people together," she said. "I think it's the atmosphere. I want this place to be homey and comfortable for people to hang out and feel welcome. It's more about the people and bonding with them."

Ripley is determined to focus on her customers and wants to get to know everyone who walks through the door. A personal touch is something important to her when owning a business, and she is happy to be creating about four jobs in Reed City, she added.

Although there is no set open date for Juanita's Coffeehouse thus far, Ripley said she is aiming for mid-October to welcome customers. The business will be open seven days per week, but hours of operation are still in the works.

"I'm excited, I'm nervous," she said about her new venture. "It's definitely a process, but I think once everything is in working order, it should be a good thing for the community."

For more information, find Juanita's Coffeehouse on Facebook or visit