When Rob Credi got back in the coffee business -- he had previously co-owned and ran Main Street Coffee for years -- he didn't expect to be back in the come-in-and-sit-down coffee business anytime soon.
He was satisfied with his truck for Pub Coffee Hub, setting up at locations around Batavia and Western New York selling lattes, espressos, and sandwiches.
Then Renee Smart, owner for nine years of Moonjava Cafe let him know she was ready for a change in her life and was looking to sell her business in the Harvester Center.
Credi looked at the assets, the location, the lease agreement, and decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"I said, 'I would be foolish to say no to it,' " Credi said.
He will rechristen Moonjava as Pub Coffee Hub, change the color scheme inside but otherwise keep the same atmosphere -- including local art -- and hopes to open by Aug. 1.
He's surprised, he said, at how smoothly things have gone.
"At this moment, I’m apprehensive," Credit said. "It’s been too easy so far. It’s been super uncomplicated. I’m cautiously optimistic because it’s a great opportunity. Something will go wrong at some point, but I’m kind of crossing my fingers thinking maybe it will be this easy.”
Easy includes keeping on Smart's assistant Anthony Siedlecki. Siedlecki will run the Harvester Avenue location full time allowing Credi to operate the food truck full time.
Credi said he always felt bad when he took the truck to Buffalo because loyal customers in his home base of Batavia couldn't get their Pub Coffee fix.
"That was an added benefit to know that if the truck isn’t in Batavia, people can come in and still get the same things," Credi said.
While Pub Coffee Hub's shop will serve a menu to match what's on the truck, one thing being retained from the Moonjava menu by popular demand is the soups, Credi said.
Smart said he's decided to re-enter her previous career as a cytotechnologist -- a laboratory professionals who study cells and cellular anomalies -- and was thinking about the change even before the pandemic hit.
After shutting the cafe as part of the state's coronavirus response, now seemed like a good time to make the transition. She also said the changes necessary to comply with social distancing measures dampened her excitement for the business.
"I felt that it was time to let Moonjava go and hopefully find somebody with their own dream and ideas to open a place that would provide for the community in a new way," Smart said. "Enter Rob. It all flowed together for both of us.
"I really would like to say," she added, "that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to be able to serve that community for nine years and although it was a difficult decision to close the business, it was very reassuring to be selling it to another creative and community-conscientious person. I am excited for Rob and can’t wait to experience his take on the local coffee hub!"