In this time of economic purgatory, small businesses are in limbo. But two Capitola staples have come together to try to forge a viable future together.
Summer 2012 was a difficult one for Michaella Olavarri, owner of Capitola Coffee Roasters in Capitola Village.
"We lost our lease in June. The owner of the building passed away and the family didn't want to renew," Olavarri told Patch. "We fought to try to stay, but they won that battle."
Capitola Coffee Roasters shut down in the Village just after July 4, and Olavarri was given a week to move out.
"Everything basically shut down. It was pretty heartbreaking," she said.
Being a local just like her customers, and a supporter of local business, Olavarri had heard of the recent struggles of the Capitola Book Cafe, and its Survive & Thrive fundraising campaign. She went to the Book Cafe to help support the struggling book giant and owner Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld overheard her talking to another customer about the lease situation at Capitola Coffee Roasters.
"That's when she said 'We have to talk,'" Olavarri said. "I knew this was also a struggling business and I didn't know if I had the heart or energy knowing this was still a risk factor. But then I realized that tomorrow is not even promised to me. This feels right and the people feel right."
So Capitola Coffee Roasters made its return to the local business scene on Sept. 1 as the cafe portion of Capitola Book Cafe.
In just over three weeks of business in its new location, Olavarri is more than happy with her decision to embed within the Book Cafe.
"We have a steady flow of customers from open to close. Their customers and ours are coming together," she said. "It's a really warm feeling to be appreciated. It's a whole different culture of people. It's a great clientele and a good energy."
Adjusting from normal coffee shop hours to the hours of the Book Cafe, Capitola Coffee Roasters now serves a "huge lunch crowd and savory dishes in the evening," Olavarri said.
But still, there is a nostalgia in her voice when she talks about doing business on the Esplanade.
"I love the Village and I love the beach. There's something special about that as well," she said. "But the Village season is about eight weeks. The rest of the year you have to bear down and grit it. ... There's something very special about the ambiance. I had my local base there but I was depending on the tourists. Here it's a completely local base."
To check out the brand new Capitola Coffee Roasters, spin by the Capitola Book Cafe at 1745 41st Ave. — now serving beer, wine, and Olavarri's famous Village Buns.
What do you think of Capitola Coffee Roasters' move to the Capitola Book Cafe? Is it good for local business? Tell us in the comments!