Bradley’s Gourmet Coffee & More celebrates their 7th Anniversary
By Eugenia Jones
There’s a special feeling that goes along with having a cup of coffee while sitting and chatting with a loved one, gathering with co-workers during a coffee break, or just going through the drive thru for a cup of your favorite espresso on your way to work.
It’s the same type of warm, happy feeling one gets when stopping by McCreary County’s only coffee shop, Bradley’s Gourmet Coffee & More.
Currently, Bradley’s is celebrating their 7th anniversary at their current location, and owner Nina Bradley, along with manager Samantha Tapley, are happy to say the business is thriving.
“We serve a variety of mostly espresso based drinks (hot, iced, or frozen), tea, smoothies, cookies, and muffins. Our customer favorite seems to be the Bradley Signature.”
The shop has a warm inviting atmosphere with comfortable seating and also offers free Wi Fi.
Tapley has been with Bradley since the beginning.
“I had worked in several different jobs, but when I started here, I found my niche,” Tapley noted. “We are all like family. I’m a very organized person, so being manager and doing schedules, ordering products, etc. are natural for me. We train through Crimson Cup, and it is very extensive training. I also went back to school and got a degree in business management to help my career.”
Tapley is quick to say how much she appreciates the coffee shop’s customers.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” she praised. “When COVID-19 hit in March, we really thought we were finished and wouldn’t make it as a business. About a month later, all at once, boom! We looked up and there was a line of cars at the drive thru all the way to the road. It’s been busy ever since. On our busiest days, we serve more than two hundred people-and many of them order multiple drinks!”
Bradley said establishing a coffee shop was her and her husband’s aunt, Doris Stephens’, dream.
“Doris originally established a coffee shop on Main Street,” Bradley recalled. “When she asked me to manage it, I was all in for it!”
Bradley’s espresso operation is unique in that they do not use push button, automatic machinery for their espresso based products.
“Our espresso machine came from Italy, and we still have to hand measure and brew our drinks just right,” Bradley, who has twelve years of coffee shop experience, explained.
For Bradley, the best part of the coffee shop are the customers.
“I’ve met so many people, developed relationships, and made friends,” Bradley said with a smile. “For me, that is the best.”
Regular customer, Larry “Lucky Dog” Davis is quick to vouch for the sweet tea and the friendly atmosphere of the shop.
“They’ve got the best sweet tea, and you won’t find more smiling faces anywhere in town,” Davis declared with a grin.
Bradley forewarned anyone who wants to establish their own business to not give up too easily.
“Stay with it,” Bradley advised. “So many people have an idea and think they will immediately be a success. They close up shop too quickly. It doesn’t usually work that way. You really do need an additional source of income during the beginning because it takes time to grow a business.”
Bradley agreed with Tapley in noting the coffee shop’s phenomenal growth during COVID-19.
“I think after about a month of staying in because of the virus, people realized they could come through our drive-thru and get a treat,” Bradley said. “The support of our community has kept us going. It really blows my mind how the community has supported us. They love us, and we love them!”