By Heather Regula, Correspondent
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or perhaps, as in Ginger Metcalf’s case, make coffee. She opened the Coffee Cup Cafe and C-Store near the intersection of Simmons Road and Highway 190 in Belton on February 13. It was formerly a warehouse. Metcalf and her friends worked tirelessly to convert the building into the establishment it is now. The cafe area has nine tables and seats 32. The drive-thru offers convenience to customers.
Born in Clovis, New Mexico and raised in Muleshoe, Texas, Metcalf moved to Coahoma (110 miles west of Abilene) in 1985. She worked there as the City Secretary for 17 years. Tragedy struck on April 3, 2003, when her son Chad, a Marine, was killed in Iraq. Metcalf moved to Central Texas in 2007 and worked as the City Secretary in Nolanville from 2011-2013
Metcalf first got her feet wet in the business realm when she opened a ceramics shop with her sister-in-law in 1983.
“People could come in and create their ceramics. It was a lot of fun, and we loved working with people. Our shop was open only for one year and closed when Chad was born,” said Metcalf.
Metcalf’s genuine love of people and her desire to honor her son led her to open the Coffee Cup Cafe and C-Store.
“This is not your typical convenience store, and it’s not your typical cafe. We brew five flavors of coffee daily – medium, pecan, special (changes weekly), decaf and bold. The pecan is our most popular. Our c-store has a wide variety of drinks, snacks and even fishing bait and tackle,” said Metcalf. “The kitchen is open Monday-Saturday 6 am-3 pm and Sunday 8 am-4 pm. The hamburger is our most popular food item right now. The bread and condiments are all always fresh. We feature pies sold by the slice or by the entire pie – the flavors vary, but now we have buttermilk, German chocolate, banana pudding and coconut cream. Our homemade sauces are delicious and very popular – picante, ranch, salsa, horseradish, and BBQ.”
Metcalf has a collection of over 100 coffee mugs – a random selection of used and donated mugs. A customer can come into the store on their birthday, show proof of their birth date, and pick a cup from the collection. The mug and fresh coffee are on the house that day.
Customers in uniform always receive a free cup of coffee.
“I am so grateful for the men and women who serve our communities – military, police, firefighters – the least I can do is buy them a cup of coffee,” said Metcalf.
Metcalf cites learning the run of the business as her biggest learning curve, and she credits friends already in the business for helping her learn the way. Customer service, while a challenge itself at times, is often Metcalf’s inspiration.
“I want to keep this a hometown and family-oriented establishment. My initial thought for this place was that I wanted it to be somewhere people could come in, enjoy a piece of pie and a cup of coffee,” said Metcalf. “We offer free wifi and sell knick-knacks, coffee mugs, tee-shirts, and other items. There are cool antiques on display throughout the store and I try my best to keep everything homey and welcoming.”
The Coffee Cup Cafe and C-Store has garnered an excellent reputation and has a following of regulars. One customer started coming to the store while he was a Lieutenant in the Army. He recently came into the store to proudly show Metcalf his newly promoted Captain bars.
“I stopped in here when they first opened. It’s right between where I live and where I work. The people here are great and that’s why I keep coming back,” said Brad Admire of Killeen.
Looking to the future, Metcalf is optimistic and excited about the potential for the Coffee Cup Cafe and C-Store. A BBQ pit was built outside and there are plans to expand the menu to include items cooked there. Her immediate plans include a petition to legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-site consumption.
“We must have at least 907 signatures of registered voters who live inside the city limits of Belton on our petition by July 5. If we are successful in doing so, then our request will be placed on the November ballot for voters to decide on,” said Metcalf. “If passed, then annex properties such as mine would be able to sell beer and wine for off-site consumption.”