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Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Melody Kobernik, owner of Sunnyside Cup, takes a customer's order at their 3008 South Broad St. location on Wednesday. The to-go coffee shop recently announced it will be opening a new location on Signal Mountain Road.

Plans to expand her coffee-to-go business to Signal Mountain Road are on track despite the slowdown delivered by the coronavirus pandemic, said Sunnyside Cup owner Melody Kobernik.

"It's been really helpful that that's our sole business," Kobernik said. "We're already socially distant because you drive up and we take your order and drop it out to you."

Kobernik launched the business with her sister five years ago, setting up an 8-foot by 12-foot trailer on Broad Street where they sell locally roasted coffee from Goodman Coffee Roasters and pastries from Niedlov's, among other treats.

When she moved here in 2011 from the Pacific Northwest, Kobernik wondered where all the drive-through coffee places were, she said.

"Everywhere in the Northwest, every half a mile is a drive-through coffee shop," she said. "There's demand for it, and it was funny to try to convince people, but it only took about 18 months before we were profitable."

The new place at 617 Signal Mountain Road, between Walmart and Krystal, will open in September, Kobernik said. The pandemic slowed business for a while in the South Broad location, but it has picked up steadily since April, she said.

"We feel really fortunate because we've been in business for five years and we've been able to manage a lot of the challenges and changes," Kobernik said. "We've created great relationships with other small businesses in Chattanooga. There's enough business to go around."

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Sunnyside Cup

Locally owned coffee to go has also hit the market in the form of (be) caffeinated, which has locations in Red Bank and on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College.

More options are also coming to the Chattanooga market in the form of Scooter's Coffee, which announced in July that a franchisee has signed a deal to bring 10 stores of Nebraska-based Scooter's to the Chattanooga area. Starbucks also continues to build new locations locally, including a new cafe under construction at Signal Mountain and Mountain Creek roads.

Meanwhile, Dunkin' has started construction of that company's first drive-through-only store in the region. Dunkin' franchisee Bluemont Group is putting the store next door to WDEF-TV at 3300 Broad St.

Contact Mary Fortune at mfortune@timesfreepress.com or (423) 757-6653. Follow her on Twitter at @maryfortune.

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