Waffles shop coming to Main Street
Jeanne Kress said her passion for coffee began when she met her husband and his family. They were obsessed with coffee, so she had to become a coffee drinker. The more she drank it, the more she loved it.
Kress lives just outside of Newark in Elkton, Md., and plans to open her waffle and coffee shop, The Perfect Blend, at 249 E. Main St. this spring.
When Jeanne was home with her kids, she dreamt of owning her own business and decided there was no better time to do it then now. She began with pies, started making muffins and ultimately decided she wanted to open up a coffee and Belgian waffle shop.
“That was a big thing in our house, making waffles,” Kress said. “That was the special family thing on a Sunday morning.”
The shop will serve pearl sugar-encrusted Belgian waffles and specialty coffee from local Pike Creek Coffee. The wife and mother of two got her inspiration from a waffle cabin at a ski resort which served similar waffles. These are no ordinary waffles, she said.
They are a thick with deep honeycomb squares to hold the toppings, and come in the regular or mini sizes, she said.
“The toppings are not limited to syrup—syrup is kind of boring,” Kress said. “We can do whipped cream, strawberries, crushed Oreos, snickers, bacon and all kinds of different things.”
The entire process has taken about a year, she said. This year included finalizing the waffle recipe and finding a place on Main Street.
Even though the City of Newark was very helpful, finding the place for her waffle shop was the hardest part, especially with zoning issues, Kress said. The location was zoned as a BLR (limited business residential), meaning only limited commercial businesses are able to rent in the building.
Kelly Bachman, the communications manager of Newark, said the city received the rezoning application back in October. Last Monday city council voted 4-1 in favor of rezoning it from a BLR to a BB (central business district). This meant that the space could now be utilized for more commercial use, she said. The only one who opposed to the rezoning was Councilman Stu Markham.
“There were some concerns that were not so much about the intended use for the immediate future, but about what the rezoning meant for future uses at that location,” Bachman said.
Now that the rezoning has been approved, the next step is knocking down walls. If the zoning was not approved, then the whole process of last year would need to be restarted, Kress said.
She said the greatest thing about the entire experience is not only that the process has been relatively easy, but all the support she has received from the Newark community. She hopes she will get the same support from the university community as well.
Freshman Alyson Gieseler was excited to hear the news about The Perfect Blend opening up close to the apartment complex she is living in next year.
“It’s something new for Newark and Main Street,” Gieseler said. “Students are already talking about it so I definitely think they will go when it opens. I will.”
Kress is planning to open the shop by early or mid-May. She said she believes in a motto that hangs on a sign in her kitchen: “Coffee and friends is the perfect blend.”