Cafe on Broadway changes hands, direction
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.”
New Cafe on Broadway owner Patty Arnett has always dreamed of owning a bakery and investing in downtown Siloam Springs.
Arnett makes “Simple Syrup” recently,.
Arnett makes a latte recently at the restaurant.