After three years in downtown Douglasville, Cabin Fever Roasters is moving to another part of the city.
The coffee shop is slated to close its operations in downtown around the end of March and open a new store on April 1, co-owner Gayla Meier said. The new location is in the Arbor Connection Plaza, which is west of Home Depot on Douglas Boulevard close to the intersection with Stewart Parkway.
“We’re making this move because we need the space,” co-owner Rick Aloisi said. “Not because we’re abandoning downtown. We love downtown, but I do need more space.”
The business has experienced an average annual growth of 22 percent in sales compared to the 3 to 7 percent most businesses hope for, according to Aloisi.
Aloisi recalled one event Cabin Fever hosted recently where the venue was full within the first 30 minutes.
The co-owners said they've always aimed for an atmosphere where customers of all backgrounds are welcomed ,and with the current parking situation on Broad Street, Aloisi and Meier are unsure if the growing business can accommodate all of the elderly and handicapped customers' needs.
“I’m fighting for parking,” Aloisi said. “For my senior customers and all of the regulars who come in during the evening, there’s just not enough parking to get everybody in here.”
In the short time since the store’s opening in October 2014, Cabin Fever Roasters has built countless memories downtown. During the winter storm in December, the shop was offering a warm place to sleep during the power outages in the city.
The wall is full of about 7,000 signatures, including one from former Atlanta Braves center fielder Otis Nixon. Many students use the store as a space to study, work on group projects or do photo shoots for personal social media accounts. Countless horror tales of the complex curriculum in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program are blended in the walls’ signatures as well.
“It’s left a time capsule to our city,” Aloisi said. “We have to photograph all of these walls and then we have to turn them into a wallpaper so we can put it in the new store.”
Aloisi said the amount of resources he'll have in the larger space on Douglas Boulevard is expected to help the cost of some of the items he sells. There will also be more space in the new kitchen to bake the store’s own products.
“We want to hire on lots more employees that live here in our county so that we can put more people to work,” Aloisi said. “You have to spread wealth. … The harder you work and the more wealth you build, the harder it is to keep it, so you have to employ more people to keep that wealth. If you don’t spread that, what’s the purpose?”
Cabin Fever Roasters prides itself on offering coffees from 20 different regions in the world, including Sumatra, Columbia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Hawaii. The shop also offers baked goods, a variety sandwiches, and breakfast options as well.
The city of Douglasville hasn't nailed down a business to fill the spot Cabin Fever is vacating downtown yet, but there are hopes to get something lined up before April.
“That's what we do at the Downtown Development Authority, we help businesses get started and they've been very successful through the incentives that we were able to provide them, so we're happy that they're able to expand their business,” Douglasville Community and Downtown Services Manager Patrice Williams said. “While we're disappointed, of course, that they're leaving the downtown, they're still in Douglasville so we're happy for them.”
Meier said the gap between the downtown location closing and the Douglas Boulevard location opening shouldn't be longer than seven to 10 days. The adjusted hours for the Broad Street location until the April 1 opening at the new location are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.