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River Road Coffeehouse – On the Square
26 North Park Place
(Patio Entrance - 29 East Church Street)
Newark, Ohio 43055
7 AM – 7 PM Monday to Saturday
8 AM – 3 PM Sunday
Our on the Square location, in conjunction with Palumbo’s Italian Market, will be offering daily weekday specials (26 North Park Place location only):
Justin Smith has been with River Road Coffeehouse since 2009 and has worked as the manager of the On the Square store since August, 2015. He was previously the assistant store manager at the Granville location. Justin loves interacting with all the wonderful River Road customers and getting to know so many people. He has two amazing parents, a pretty cool younger brother and three dogs. Justin loves Jesus, is a huge sports fan and can play five instruments! His favorite drink is the Honeysuckle Latte.
Employee of the Quarter
Haley Baker is the River Road Coffeehouse Employee of the Quarter. Since her hire, Haley has shown an eagerness to continue to learn and take on additional responsibilities during her shifts. Each role she plays in our store she does with a high level of excitement and desire for excellence. Haley will be the first to ask questions on how to improve at work and is always happy to receive feedback. Haley finds value in making sure the customers get an excellent product. She has mastered baking all our daily treats to perfection and we are now excited to have her building her skills behind the espresso bar. We are thankful to have Haley’s good attitude and great customer service as part of our team.
After the Formans had opened their third coffeehouse near Kenyon College in Gambier during the summer of 2012, they informally agreed to not pursue further expansion in the belief that their stores might begin to take on the flavor and sameness they found so uninspiring in chain-retail coffee operations. When David Forman’s former high school classmate and friend, Tom Atha, called in early 2014 to encourage the family to consider opening a store in the Newark Downtown Area, two of the family owners expressed reservations. Stacey Forman-Donnelly, who had recently joined the company as the Managing Partner, along with her father felt that they should stay focused on the three existing coffeehouses and not extend resource to a fourth location.
Out of courtesy, the owner-partners agreed to meet with a core group of city representatives and came away significantly impressed with the major initiatives already underway to re-invent the downtown Newark area. Fred Ernest, in partnership with his wife, cousins and daughter, had just recently agreed to purchase the building on North Park Place that had been home for many years to Park Place Coffee Roasters…and more recently to The Simple Rising Café. Ernest was in attendance at the initial meeting and inquired about the possibility of River Road Coffeehouse occupying that space. While the Formans felt that the space was more than they needed, they were equally adamant in believing that structurally dividing the space would adversely affect its character and history.
Two things happened in the following weeks to mobilize the Forman Team. First, on the heels of an impressive presentation detailing the specifics of the Downtown Streetscapes Project, the Thomas J. Evans Foundation announced their commitment to proceed with the Canal Market Plaza Project adjacent to the Square. Secondly, when mark approached friends and Granville business neighbors, Cindy and Paul Palumbo, about partnering with the family and “sharing” the Park Place space between River Road Coffeehouse and Palumbo’s Italian Market, their response was immediate and enthusiastic. Plans proceeded rapidly.
The interior space is indeed a mix of old and new. The original hardwood floors were refinished and their markings share stories of countless customers who have purchased an impressive array of products offered through decades in this very space. The stainless steel counters and panoramic pictures of the farmers and coffees grown in distant countries add an element of the new global community in which we live. Indeed…our neighbors are across the street…but also across the ocean!