Coffee Crafters becoming Toast Cafe on Vine Street

Coffee Crafters becoming Toast Cafe on Vine Street

May 15th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

• Name: Toast Cafe, formerly known as Coffee Crafters

• Location: The business is moving to 326 Vine St., downtown Chattanooga.

• Age: Founded in 2003

• Status: The cafe will open May 31, the day after Memorial Day, according to owner Kent Baumhover. He's working to get plumbing, flooring and a coffee roaster hooked up. He's finishing up the installation of gas lines and setting up the service counter at the same time.

• Features: The new store, the former location of Chad's Records, will offer a dramatically larger space for customers and workers alike. Baumhover will increase capacity to 60 seats from 12 currently, and will be able to continue in-house roasting. As part of the relocation and new name, he plans to expand the menu by 20 percent and offer both lunch and breakfast to customers in addition to coffee.

• Hurdles: Baumhover suffered a neck injury in March, so doing all the construction work himself has been difficult. He's recruited friends from the community to help with the heavy lifting, but it's still been challenge. In addition, the coffee and restaurant industries have taken "a real hit recently," he said, so the financial burden has been difficult as well.

• Lesson learned: When taking on a large project, it's best to divvy it up piece by piece instead of trying to juggle too many balls at once, the cafe owner said.

• Goal: The ultimate goal is to stay on Vine Street, where he has cultivated a customer base consisting of students, Unum employees and courthouse workers, he said. "Ninety percent of the people coming through our door have been coming in as long as I can remember. You really develop a good feel for the community here," Baumhover said.