WADDINGTON — Main Street Perc is more than a cafe, it’s a family affair with a goal of giving the community a warm atmosphere to gather.
That was what owners Toby W. Bogart, a senior civil engineer with the New York Power Authority, and Brittany L. Bush, a manager at Jreck’s Subs in Massena, were shooting for when they bought the 19 Main St. cafe, formerly known as A Touch of Icing.
Ms. Bush said she had been scrolling through a Facebook garage sale page when she stumbled across the cafe as being marked for sale at $75,000 by former owner Kathy Putney, who after 14 years, had moved to Heuvelton.
“I put it away for a few days, I kept scrolling and then I kept thinking about it for three days straight until I screen shot it,” she said.
“Next thing I know, I’m getting a picture,” Mr. Bogart said.
“And I said to him, ‘well, they’re not asking a lot of money for it. It might be a good business opportunity for us,” she said. “We wouldn’t be way in over our heads. We decided that we would contact her and come down and at least check it out.”
The selling point for Ms. Bush was a family dynamic.
The couple have two children each from previous relationships but have built a tight-knit family.
“We bake at home,” Ms. Bush said. “The kids like to bake with us and I guess I always presumed that one day I would own my own business, so I thought, why not today?”
They bought the cafe on a Monday, closed on it, made various renovations and opened the following Saturday, May 11. The cafe is open 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Mr. Bogart gets to the cafe at about 5:20 a.m. every morning, gets the coffee going and his parents come down at about 5:30 a.m. to help him set up the bakery case. He heads to work by 6 a.m., where he works a 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift. He meets Ms. Bush after work, has dinner with the children and then the family will return to the cafe to get ready for the next day of business.
“She loves it,” Mr. Bogart said of his mother’s role at the cafe. “She is very talkative, loves people, so it was an easy fit for her. It’s that kind of atmosphere that we want to keep. People just love coming in here and you can banter and joke and laugh. It’s a great place, they come down here to meet. They sit down and eat breakfast, we don’t care if you sit out here for an hour. It’s really what it was for us, to not let something in the community fade away. We wanted to keep that going and give back to the community as best we could and provide this kind of treat, I guess.”
Mr. Bogart and Ms. Bush take the reins from his mother on Saturday mornings with the help of their four children.
The deli case houses a variety of baked goods from English Muffin bread and cinnamon rolls, to scones and muffins, to crullers and cupcakes, all made from scratch. They also carry bagels and make a variety of breakfast sandwiches.
“Cinnamon rolls, we can’t go a day without those, we sell generally close to two dozen a day through Thursday, then Friday and Saturday we’ll sell more like three to four dozen each day,” Mr. Bogart said. That and our English muffin bread, we sell it by the loaf and we will make anywhere from 15 to 18 loaves a week.”
The prices are more than affordable, with sandwiches ranging from $2.50 to $3 and the baked goods between $1 and $2.
“We’ve been told that we need to raise our prices, but we don’t want to make a killing on every item we sell,” Mr. Bogart said. “I want somebody to come in and say, ‘I want one of those and one of those and one of those and one of those,’ and walk out happy that they only just paid $10 and got five things, rather than I just paid $10 and walked out with a little box of two cupcakes. That’s not what we want.”
There are potential plans to be open more frequently as the business progresses, Mr. Bogart said.
“Every week has gotten better and better. More people, more goods sold,” he said. “As long as that kind of trend continues and we think there’s a niche we can fill with a lunch or adding a day, maybe we can open on a Monday as well, to get the full work week. But at this point five days a week is all we can handle.”