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The Daily Grind to offer a unique coffee shop atmosphere

By Michelle Kealey

Staff Writer

AGAWAM For business partners Bill Trexler and Dawn Rossi, the decision to open a second coffee shop came from the desire to create a unique, relaxing, inviting and creative atmosphere for coffee shop customers.

Trexler and Rossi currently own the Java Stop in West Springfield and are planning to open their second coffee shop The Daily Grind in Feeding Hills at the end of the month.

Rossi, who opened the Java Stop 2.5 years ago with her former business partner Craig Juraz, was working on The Daily Grind with Trexler when Juraz approached her wanting to sell his portion of the business.

Trexler and Rossi then became business partners for both of the coffee shops.

The two have been working on The Daily Grind, which is located on 360 North Westfield Street in Feeding Hills, for about six to eight months.

Trexler said that he wanted to open a new coffee shop in Feeding Hills because he "has an appreciation for a good cup of coffee in a good environment."

"The first thing for me is that I have always had a love and passion for the coffee business," he added.

Trexler also said that he compares a good coffee to what wine lovers see as a fine wine.

He added that he wanted to fill the gap between the larger commercial coffee shops and the high-end places that don't exist in that area.

"There seemed to be a huge need that was not being fulfilled," he said.

Trexler said that he and Rossi did not want to create or add competition, but wanted to fill the void and provide a good product in a nice environment.

He said that The Daily Grind is built on three ideas consistency, uniqueness, and quality.

The Daily Grind will carry coffee products from the Barrington Coffee Company.

Trexler explained that Joe's Coffee in New York City has been voted as having the best coffee for three years in a row by the New York Times and Village Voice.

"[The owner] tells you he built his business around Barrington," he said.

Trexler added that Barrington coffee is only available locally in Northampton at Northampton Coffee, in Lenox and at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.

He added that The Daily Grind will have exclusive rights to the coffee in the area.

Rossi said that she and Trexler did research about Barrington and went to Northampton to taste it.

"It was the best latte I have had in my life," she said.

She added that she and Trexler met with the owners of Barrington and they explained how they picked the coffee and how they roast it.

The Daily Grind will specialize in espresso, according to Rossi.

She added that Barrington has a regular house blend, decaf house and a dark roast. If customers want a flavored coffee, she said that specialty flavor syrups can be added to the coffee.

She explained that Barrington does not add flavors when roasting their coffee.

"It's not how they do business," she said.

Trexler said The Daily Grind will offer a variety of specialty hot, iced and frozen beverages.

He added that there will be a food menu, that like the coffee, will be built around unique, consistent products.

He said the shop will offer a limited lunch menu of specialty soups, sandwiches and salads.

He added that the breakfast will not just be the pastries and donuts, but will include fresh fruits, yogurts and a variety of granola.

Rossi said that the plan for the lunch menu is to focus on healthy foods.

She added that they will always offer pastries like those that are currently offered at the Java Stop, which are from Bernardino's Bakery in Chicopee.

Trexler said they chose the location for The Daily Grind because it is in a high traffic area.

He added that homes that are being developed in that area cost about a half million dollars or more. He said he wanted to create an environment that suits and meets the needs of the neighborhood.

In addition to coffee and some food items, Trexler and Rossi said that they will offer high-speed wireless internet for customers and hope to bring in some live entertainment.

Rossi said that she wants to encourage any talented musicians who enjoys music and would like to have people listen their music to perform at The Daily Grind.

"We encourage the community to get involved in any way," she said

Rossi said that she and Trexler had to build the new business from the ground up inside the building.

"All of our ideas and our dreams are right there," she said. "We put [in] a lot of thought and research."

She added that she is looking forward to the opening of the new business.

She said that the contractors have been "doing a really good job."

Rossi said that she and Trexler have purchased all of the furniture and were heading off to choose the paint after their interview with Reminder Publications.

She explained that she and Trexler have purchased "funky" three-dimensional star lights, low top tables for the lower level of the shop and leather couches, a leather love seat, leather chair and an ottoman for the loft area of the shop.

"It is so beautiful and so nice," Rossi said about the new shop.

Trexler said that the lower level of The Daily Grind can seat 14 people, while the loft can seat 40 people.

He added that he plans to have an area in front of the shop where up to 20 customers will be able to sit outside during nice weather.

In addition to opening a new shop, Trexler and Rossi also renovated the Java Stop.

Rossi explained that they painted all of the walls and took down some of the menu boards, which opened up the space.

She added that they plan to have high-speed Internet installed at the Java Stop and plan to have live entertainment there as well.

Rossi said the Java Stop will continue to serve Baronet brand coffee, which comes in a variety of flavors.

Currently, the Java Stop offers a 20 percent discount to teachers and students who purchase coffee.

She said she feels that teachers do a lot of work in helping to raise the children in West Springfield and students may not have a lot of money to spend on coffee. She said the discount is a way of giving back to the community.

She added that she and Trexler will probably offer the same discounts to teachers and students in Agawam.

Rossi is a native of West Springfield and Trexler lives in Agawam.

Rossi said that she loves owning the Java Stop because she is able to give back to her hometown and be a part of the growth and revenue of the city.

When the Daily Grind opens, Trexler said that he will need to hire about 8 to 10 employees.

Trexler and Rossi said they plan to extend the hours of the Java Stop in the future.

The Daily Grind will be open from 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trexler said he is not sure what the exact weekend hours will be at this time.