Saturday, January 31, 2004

Terrace Park mom starts coffee shop, thinks big

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

TERRACE PARK - Any working mother probably needs a jolt of caffeine to keep up with it all.

Renee Tetrault craves a whole chain of coffee shops.

Renee Tetrault is the owner of Over Coffee in Terrace Park.
(Meggan Booker photo)
The Terrace Park mom of four, including 20-month-old twin girls, recently opened the first location of her Over Coffee chain in this eastern Hamilton County's small business district along Wooster Pike (U.S. 50).

A second east-side shop is coming in April to Anderson Township, and there are plans for a store maybe in Milford and perhaps a second Anderson location.

"We are trying to give Starbucks a little run for their money," Tetrault, 34, recently joked as she whipped up a large raspberry mocha for a customer.

But mostly, Tetrault knows moms in general are just looking for a small break. Her business caters heavily to women like herself, raising children and dying to get out of the house for a bit, even if it's just for a quick cup of joe.

Especially in Terrace Park, where Over Coffee means this village of 2,273 residents with plenty of disposable income but few businesses (the median household income is $95,530) finally has a coffee house.

That's where the juggle comes in for Tetrault. She opens the shop most days, working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Another Terrace Park mom works part-time in the evenings to help out, as do Tetrault's brother and sister-in-law. A part-time nanny pitches in at home.

"You reach a breaking point where it's like, 'I just want an hour,'" Tetrault said. "I'll even go grocery shopping just to be by myself. It makes you a better mom when you do get that time. You recharge."

Her slogan is, "Great Things Happen Over Coffee," and since Over Coffee opened late last fall in the Terrace Park Plaza, business has been brisk.

"This was a much-needed thing for Terrace Park," Tetrault says. "We were missing a place to hang out, visit with friends or have a quick business meeting."

Artists already are clamoring to perform there. Miami Township acoustic guitarist and mom Veronica Brannen will play just for tips and free coffee Friday and Feb. 20, March 12 and March 26 from 7 to 9 p.m.

And last week, about a dozen neighborhood women held their monthly bunco dice game at Over Coffee.

The decor is casually comfortable with plenty of tables and chairs, comfy sofas and a children's play area with a rocking horse and books surrounded by sunny yellow walls with student artwork adorning it.

The menu covers the needs of most caffeine connoisseurs: cappuccino, mochaccino, espresso, latte, a house blend and dark roast coffees, decaf coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa and fruit smoothies.

Out for some sinful pleasure? Try one of the raspberry chocolate caramel brownies, fruit pastries or thick, chewy cookies catered in from Fairfax baker Darlton Morsby.

"I walk over there every morning at 6:15 a.m., ready for a cup of coffee," said Robin Pendery, a 17-year Terrace Park resident. "She even has dog biscuits for people who walk over with their dog. It's just wonderful to have a place to walk to, meet a friend or just get a fresh cup of good coffee.

"It is nice to have some mom-and-pop kind of places," she added. "It fits the whole little-town atmosphere; but she's also on a main drag, so I hope she does well with getting traffic from people going into Cincinnati."

'Over Coffee' a gathering spot

What: Over Coffee, 614 Wooster Pike, Terrace Park

Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

Check it out: The shop is open to the public for meetings, bunco and other small group games, art exhibits and other community events. Call owner Renee Tetrault at 248-2900.



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