Cafe on Broad­way changes hands, di­rec­tion

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - PROUD PEOPLE & PLACES - By Sierra Bush Spe­cial to the Herald-Leader

New Cafe on Broad­way own­ers Patty Ar­nett and Melissa Gute knew own­ing a cafe would be stren­u­ous, but they didn’t know how re­ward­ing it would be.

“I’m get­ting to know the com­mu­nity more than I did,” Ar­nett said. “I want to be some­body who the com­mu­nity knows, we want to in­vest in this com­mu­nity and sup­port our lo­cal farm­ers and peo­ple who are do­ing things lo­cally.”

Ar­nett’s dream had been to run a bak­ery and in­vest in down­town Siloam Springs. When the Cafe on Broad­way came open for sale, she and Gute be­gan talk­ing with the for­mer own­ers about con­tin­u­ing the name.

Some of the op­er­a­tions, though, would not con­tinue un­der Ar­nett and Gute’s own­er­ship.

Down­siz­ing the cafe itself and ren­o­va­tions that spawned from that were some of the first tasks the new own­ers tack­led. Af­ter a four-day shutdown, a new bak­ery had been built, the kitchen had been re­mod­eled and a sec­ond dining area had been closed off.

The owner of the sec­ond build­ing that housed Cafe op­er­a­tions is con­sid­er­ing sell­ing, Ar­nett said. Star­ing at a fu­ture that in­volved con­sol­i­dat­ing, the shuf­fle into a smaller space was in­cor­po­rated into ren­o­va­tions.

Ar­nett and Gute also switched roast­ers. Bad Dog Bean­ery, owned by Heather and Todd Gainer, now pro­vides cof­fee for the cafe.

“We’re just try­ing to sup­port as many lo­cal peo­ple as we can,” Ar­nett said.

That prom­ise doesn’t just re­gard the De­catur farmer who pro­duces the cafe’s table­top greens; Ar­nett and Gute are se­ri­ous about in­vest­ing in their cus­tomers.

“It’s so nice to see Justin coming down the street for lunch and tell him his veg­gie quiche is in the oven warm­ing up,” Ar­nett said. “We have so many reg­u­lar cus­tomers. We know what they want, we get it ready for them.”

Fresh in­gre­di­ents and house-made where pos­si­ble have also been a pil­lar Ar­nett is build­ing in the new foun­da­tion of the Cafe.

As di­rec­tor of The Gar­den in Siloam Springs, Ar­nett thought it was im­por­tant to give some of Siloam’s stu­dents fresh food to fight obe­sity and food in­se­cu­rity, prob­lems Ar­nett said are not un­seen in Ar­kan­sas adults.

In 2016, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion pub­lished a state nutrition, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and obe­sity pro­file. Out of an es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of 2,978,204, Ar­kan­sas re­ported 34.7 per­cent of adults were over­weight while 35.9 per­cent were obese. Fifty

I want to be some­body who the com­mu­nity knows, we want to in­vest in this com­mu­nity and sup­port our lo­cal farm­ers and peo­ple who are do­ing things lo­cally. Patty Ar­nett Cafe on Broad­way

per­cent of adults said they were eat­ing fruit less than one time daily, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, while 28 per­cent of adults were eat­ing veg­eta­bles less than one time a day.

In com­par­i­son, 15.9 per­cent of ado­les­cents were re­ported over­weight while 17.8 per­cent of ado­les­cents were obese. A lit­tle less than half (47.9 per­cent) of ado­les­cents re­ported eat­ing fruit less than once a day, while 41.8 per­cent re­ported eat­ing veg­eta­bles less than once a day.

“It was im­por­tant for me to plant a gar­den where the kids that didn’t have food could come and get food,” Ar­nett said. “I think it’s im­por­tant that, es­pe­cially chil­dren, and adults as well, know where real food comes from.”

Fresh food in the Cafe was not only im­por­tant, but bet­ter qual­ity, Ar­nett said.

While tak­ing care of the Siloam com­mu­nity is a priority, Ar­nett said the care they re­ceive in re­turn doesn’t go un­no­ticed.

“Even though we’re an­other cof­fee shop in town, peo­ple that own the Pour Jons and go to Pour Jons still pa­tron­ize us. Siloam is a con­nected com­mu­nity that’s will­ing to go the ex­tra mile for each other.”

The feel­ing, Gute said, is mutual.

“Patty and I have al­ways been cham­pi­ons of down­town and the role it plays in cre­at­ing com­mu­nity in Siloam. Be­ing a part of it as a small-busi­ness owner has given a new per­spec­tive on how hard run­ning a busi­ness can be and how im­por­tant it is for businesses to work to­gether and sup­port each other. Down­town pro­vides a sense of com­mu­nity among the businesses. When small businesses suc­ceed, the larger com­mu­nity ben­e­fits. It’s cool to be a part of that.”

Sierra Bush/Spe­cial to the Herald-Leader

New Cafe on Broad­way owner Patty Ar­nett has al­ways dreamed of own­ing a bak­ery and in­vest­ing in down­town Siloam Springs.

Sierra Bush/Spe­cial to the Herald-Leader

Ar­nett makes “Sim­ple Syrup” re­cently,.

Sierra Bush/Spe­cial to the Herald-Leader

Ar­nett makes a latte re­cently at the restau­rant.

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