Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Michelle Bennett's New Gig: Coffee Shop in Grandin Village

OK all you fans of the funniest woman in Roanoke: Good things are happening to our buddy Michelle Bennett (mugging above).

Let’s let her tell it, since she knows more about than I know:

“I am going into the coffee business! I will open CUPS Coffee & Tea on September 1 (if all goes well) at 1402 Grandin Rd., right next door and subletting space from Rockfish Restaurant.

"I'm psyched and hope the neighborhood will be too. I spent 12 years cooking in restaurants ranging from the Williamson Road Pancake House, through The Roanoker, Brandon Oaks, a country club, both local civic centers and Alexander's.

"My last food service job was running a temp agency for food service called Short Order Temps. I cooked about everywhere in those days. Other than sending myself out as a cook I mostly provided banquet servers for large parties.

"I will have food but I will not be cooking. There are already 12 places to eat in the Grandin Village, but we've had no coffee shop for years. I'll be serving biscottis and scones made by Vive La Cupcake, sandwiches and salads from the co-op, croissants from Breadcraft and more. All local.

"I plan to have the best coffee and espresso in town and I'm working with a local independent roaster (unbelievably named) Chris Spoon. He talks about coffee the way other people talk about wine. He will help ensure that we have the best coffee and espresso in town.

"I'm hoping to create a fun cosy Grandin Road hangout for families in the nabe, kids from PH, movie-goers and other cool folks.”

Michelle was laid off a couple of months ago by Center in the Square, a great example of institutions have to cut all the way below bone because she was nearly invaluable. She's been looking for a new gig since then.

We will all hope that Michelle soon has open mic nights so she can do stand-up comedy. If you don't know her, go by and introduce yourself. Michelle is worth knowing, especially if you need a little levity in your life. Good luck, Michelle.