Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Business Beat: Gilmer Road coffeehouse gets new look; eyeglass shop opens; vet's office remodeling

By Ken Hedler
Dec. 24, 2016 at 6:57 p.m.

A couple who had patronized Coffee Mill since 1994 purchased the coffeehouse and has been making changes. Brandee Brown said she and her husband, Terry, upgraded the appliances, reopened for seating a room that formerly housed a real estate office and added a mobile espresso bar.

The Browns bought Coffee Mill, located at 2001 Gilmer Road in the Pinetree Centre, from Alycia Hepler.

The shop serves hot, iced, blended and other specialty coffee drinks along with herbal teas, pastries, muffins, scones and pigs in a blanket, Brown said. The owners make almost everything except for the coffee beans and bagels, and they are planning to add wraps and sandwiches.

"We live here. We work here. We buy all our supplies here," Brandee Brown said.

Coffee Mill has indoor and outdoor seating along with a double drive-through. Patrons also may enjoy internet access.

Business hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

America's Best opens

National Vision in Duluth, Georgia, has opened an America's Best Contacts & Eyeglass outlet at 1715 W. Loop 281.

America's Best provides designer eyeglass frames, contact lenses and eyeglass accessories along with optometric services. The Longview location joins more than 450 retail stores nationwide.

America's Best expanded into Texas in 2016 by opening a number of stores, Kristina Gross, director of communication at National Vision, said in a statement.

"Our research showed that the Longview community fit our target customer base, and we already had one successful store in the market," she said, referring to a location in Tyler.

NCS Construction Services of Bloomfield, Michigan, remodeled 4,000 square feet in a building to accommodate America's Best. The remodeling work was valued at $150,000, according to documents filed with the city of Longview.

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.

Vet's office remodeling

West Loop Animal Hospital at 1301 W. Loop 281 hired Tektra Design & Build to install fire alarms to comply with a new city ordinance and add about 1,800 square feet in office space, Tektra manager Steve Hill said. The building covers about 2,700 square feet.

The city adopted the ordinance in response to a fire in June 2015 that killed 38 pets at Kimbrough Animal Hospital.

"We are expecting the project to take about four months," Hill said. "We have done some preliminary work."

He said he expects Tektra to begin the project this month at West Loop. Documents filed with the city's Development Services Department value the project at $250,000.

West Loop Animal Hospital opened in 1968.

Appliance store expands

Anytime Appliance Co. has moved from 117 Evergreen St. to 4117 W. Marshall Ave. because it is expanding and providing more services, owner Steve Marquez said.

In business for six years, Marquez said he is expanding beyond selling and servicing appliances by doing air-conditioning and refrigeration repair work for homes and businesses. The new store also will carry home furnishings.

Marquez said his new building contains 3,200 square feet, more than triple the 1,000 square feet it occupied on Evergreen Street.

Anytime Appliance maintains business hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. For appointments, call (903) 297-4376.

BBQ business in works

A Longview man who builds electric motors at a major manufacturer in town is trying to establish a barbecue business on the side.

Travis Baker, who owns home-based Iron & Smoke Craft BBQ with his wife, Kelley, said he is shooting to finish work on his trailer by the first quarter of 2017 so he can start taking catering jobs.

Baker grew up around cooking, said Kelley, who will help with cooking and deliveries. She is a nanny and full-time graduate student in psychology at LeTourneau University.

Baker said he has tested his barbecuing skills with his friends.

"It's all traditional barbecue," Baker said. "It is nothing but wood and a fire and an iron pit. I'm talking about smoking briskets for 12 to 14 hours."

For information, call (903) 235-7984.

— Business Beat appears Sunday. If you have items for the column, email to; mail to Business Section, Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606; or call (903) 232-7214.



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