Cherrywood Coffeehouse Celebrates 10 Years
Originally published in the February 2019 Flea
Jen Haberman is co-owner of Cherrywood Coffeehouse, the neighborhood's one-stop-shop for coffee, brunch, yoga, live music, and community. You'll find Haberman in the shop almost daily, running coffee to your table or greeting you behind the counter. The Flea interviewed her with an ear toward getting to know her better and commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the neighborhood's iconic gathering place.
Flea: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Haberman: I’m definitely a morning person. I wasn’t always that way but definitely am now.
Flea: Do you drink regular or decaf?
Haberman: Caffeine, but only a double shot a day.
Flea: What do you think your best day on the job has been?
Haberman: That’s a good question. You know, there’s so many days that stand out. The SXSW days are always kind of crazy, but whenever there’s a good bunch you remember those. We occasionally work with a group called Keen [King]. They sometimes meet here and Jared Leto did a surprise visit with the students that were working with that organization. So he came out, there was a choir, they performed a couple of songs, and that was really fun and exciting.
Every day, people come in and sometimes say “I just got into town and the first place that I came was Cherrywood,” or someone will thank us for something that we did for the school or the church. Those remarks make a day feel like a great day.
Flea: What is the craziest thing that you remember happening at Cherrywood?
Haberman: Lots of things happen here. Once during SXSW, the train that runs behind us was stopped in its tracks. Someone had stopped on the tracks and during the middle of SXSW that train was just stopped for about an hour. That was kind of crazy.
This past year, it was the water boil. Those were interesting days! We stayed open, there were several hours the first day when we were setting everything up that enabled us to serve coffee, but we were here.
Years ago, a street crew hit a gas main on 38 1/2 Street. They evacuated the whole area. I wasn’t at the shop when it happened but I got the call. One of the city workers ran inside and said “everybody evacuate!” The cooks, the staff, everyone had to get out really quickly, leaving food on the grill—everything. That was probably one of the most exciting days. We were locked out for several hours while they were working on it.
Flea: What keeps you up at night?
Haberman: You always want everybody to have a good positive experience, so if something happened that you don’t really have control over, and your service wasn’t as good as it could have been, or the wait was too long: I used to worry about that a lot in the beginning, and those were the things that would bother me. The things that I couldn’t control were the things I worried didn’t reflect well on us. Over the years, I think we’ve learned a lot. I feel that if people know what to expect that helps. During SXSW, there are occasionally ticket times of 30 minutes or more, but I feel that if people know “Hey, we’re really busy,” then they understand, and that’s the key.
We’re doing the best that we can do. Things are going to go wrong occasionally and we’re going to try to fix them and make them right and that’s pretty much all you can do.
Flea: What keeps you going?
Haberman: The day-to-day of stuff. We are really fortunate to have so many people come in here on a day-to day-basis, and we are so fortunate to have people thank us for what we are doing., That’s what keeps me going. It’s a good feeling, that we are nurturing people, but at the same time I feel that it nurtures us as well. What’s so funny, is that people compliment me on the coffeehouse, but I don’t think I’m the one who is responsible for it. So much of the community feel is because of the people who come in here. They create that atmosphere more so than we do. I’m just providing a space, which I’m happy to do!
Cherrywood Coffeehouse celebrates its tenth anniversary on April 13th, from noon–7 pm. Festivities get a kick start from Minor Mishap Marching Band, which will be followed by a kid’s music show and a performance by Neal Mehta. There will be face painting, craft booths, and a crawfish boil. Geeks who Drink will close out the day's activities at 8 pm.