Country Club Cafe undergoes changes with new owner

New owner Bethany Vogel uses creative additions to reinvigorate local business

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Country Club Cafe undergoes changes with new owner

While working a shift at Country Club Cafe, senior Kristen Schau makes a specialty espresso drink for a customer on Sunday, March 26

While working a shift at Country Club Cafe, senior Kristen Schau makes a specialty espresso drink for a customer on Sunday, March 26

By Morgan Gurwell

While working a shift at Country Club Cafe, senior Kristen Schau makes a specialty espresso drink for a customer on Sunday, March 26

By Morgan Gurwell

By Morgan Gurwell

While working a shift at Country Club Cafe, senior Kristen Schau makes a specialty espresso drink for a customer on Sunday, March 26

Joe McClain, Mill Valley News reporter and photographer

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Bethany Vogel’s dream since college was to one day own a coffee shop of her own.  Now, she has the opportunity to do just that as the new co-owner and manager of the Country Club Cafe.

“When I was in college, I ran a coffee shop,” Vogel said.  “I’ve worked at a few different  jobs, but my goal was always to own a coffee shop.  Then came the time when we were able to purchase one and now I’m actually doing it.”

Previously just a manager of the cafe, Vogel recently purchased the cafe with her mom, making it a family business. The transition to a new owner proved stressful at first for senior Kristen Schau who worked for the previous owner, but it soon proved to be advantageous.

“I was hesitant about a new owner because I had worked for over a year and a half with the previous owner and formed a good relationship with her,” Schau said. “It’s turned into a family run business, but it carries the same level of familiarity of the previous owner and all of the new employees are incredibly friendly.”

With Vogel being the new owner, the Country Club Cafe is bound to undergo some change.  Vogel already has a vision for the future of the shop.

“I’m just learning everything first and then we’ll jump into making some changes and leaving our mark on the shop,” Vogel said. “The previous owners did a really good job as far as running the business, but my main goal is to change the look. I want to change the colors and bring it more up to date.  I want to make it a space for not only the older generation, but also a space for a younger crowd.  I really want some high schoolers to enjoy coming here, too.”

Throughout the change in her work environment, Schau has formed a bond with the customers and the cafe itself.

“While my co-workers have been changing, the customers have stayed the same and they are what makes my job so great,” Schau said.  “Even though I have an incredibly full schedule, I couldn’t imagine dropping work from my list of responsibilities because making coffee and seeing the people I work with and work for is so beneficial.”

Freshman Nico Gatapia frequently visits the Country Club Cafe.  Though Gatapia is excited to see new management, he wants the menu to stay the same.

“I can’t wait to see what the new owners do with the place, but I hope they don’t change the menu too much because I like it how it is,” Gatapia said.

Vogel has big plans for her newly owned family business, but it will take time.  For now, she plans to continue to make coffee for happy customers.

“I have four kids, so running the cafe takes me away from the house a little bit more,” Vogel said.  “I also work at Children’s Mercy [Hospital]; juggling everything has been a chore, but it’s fun.”

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