Aroma Café & Market
It was good. We didn’t have to put as big of a down payment down, so that was helpful.
Who likes working nights? Not Lindsey Zucal. So after Lindsey took over Aroma Café & Market, she nixed dinner service and focused on breakfast, lunch and locally roasted coffee. Locals and travelers alike poured in for the java, kombucha and healthy sandwiches and salads – but most took their orders to-go, leaving many of the 60 seats empty. The café’s rented space “was too big for what we were doing,” Lindsey says. Only one building in Emporium fit Aroma Café’s needs. Luckily, the owner was willing to sell.
Lindsey got wind of a lender eager to support PA Wilds businesses. The Progress Fund loaned $82,000, leaving just a $10,000 down payment and a monthly payment hundreds of dollars lower than Lindsey’s former rent. Cameron County Industrial Development Authority financed improvements and equipment.
With its stone front, exposed interior masonry and tin ceiling, the new Aroma Café adds small-town charm to Lindsey’s culinary sophistication. Inspired by her vegetarian daughter, Lindsey doubled down on locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables and added smoothies to the menu. With an array of grab-and-go options and 35-seat capacity, the café combines convenience and coziness. Says Lindsey: “It’s the perfect size for what I’m looking to do.”
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