The popular spot known as Banyan Cafe re-opened its doors on June 11 in St. Petersburg.
After an 11-month break, owner Erica Allums said that the crew is happy to be back in business. The cafe offers breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea and catering.
“It’s going great,” said Allums.
In 2008, Banyan Cafe opened for the first time. Customers developed their routine and would find it hard to go elsewhere for their morning cup of joe.
Allums said that when Banyan re-opened its doors, all of the same regulars were waiting to return, as if time had not passed.
“We have so many loyal customers that are just right there, ready to support Banyan again,” said Allums.
Despite the timing of starting the business, Allums said that the economy’s rough patches had no effect on the success of Banyan.
Being a private business owner herself, Allums knows the power of shopping local. She strives to purchase all of Banyan’s produce from neighboring businesses. Banyan also stays local by brewing St. Pete’s favorite coffee, Kahwa.
Banyan has been noted to offer a “home away from home” atmosphere. Regulars keep their name-tagged coffee mugs at the shop. Customers return week after week to indulge in Banyan’s famous breakfast offerings or their Thanksgiving-style turkey sandwich.
With all of Banyan’s success, why the break?
Allums said that she needed to take a rest for a while.
“I felt really bad when we closed,” remembered Allums. “I just really needed to take some time for myself.”
Allums said that Banyan is “just one of those places that customers come in for breakfast and then they come back for lunch.” She said that customers make themselves comfortable and treat the Banyan like their own dining room or study.
As for the future of Banyan, Allums has no plans to close again. In fact, she hopes to expand. Catering has already shown the growth of the business since its opening, and now Allums is looking even further down the road.
“I would love to see it grow with other locations, but I only want to take on as much as I can handle,” said Allums.