They moved from Lebanon to Middletown three years ago, renovated a former Realtor office on Central Avenue and in that short time have become cheerleaders for the community.
Brian and Tracy Teetzen and their daughter, Cassidy, bought the former Leap Realtor office at 2024 Central Ave. in November 2019 and planned to covert the office space into their residence and business.
Then COVID-19 hit and the coffee shop was put on the back burner.
Since then, they completely remodeled the 4,500 square feet building and recently opened The Cracked Pot, a coffee and crepe shop that occupies 1,500 square feet. The family lives in the top two floors and Cassidy, 26, has an art studio in the basement.
“It all came together,” said Brian, 50, who did most of the remodeling.
They have held a “soft opening” since June 25, and in that time, they described business as “incredible, beyond words” and the neighborhood as “warm and welcoming.”
The Grand Opening and ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m. July 23.
They’re working closely with Central Pastry on Central Avenue to offer some of its pastries and they hope to partner with the arts community to display and sell local pieces on consignment in their business.
The Cracked Pot in sandwiched between Java Johnny’s and Triple Moon Coffee Shop, both successful businesses. They believe there’s enough demand for another coffee shop on Central because their menu is so different.
Besides coffee, Cracked Pot features sweet and savory crepes that are prepared made-to-order and are fixed with only fresh ingredients, Tracy, 52, said. Some of the crepes include: Bee Happy, Strawberry Fields, Porky Pig, BLT, Turkey Club, Philly Cheesesteak and Farm Boy.
Initially, they thought most of their business would be carry-out. It’s been just the opposite with the majority of customers preferring to dine in one of the comfortable rooms.
“We want it to grow into what it does,” he said. “Right now we are smiling every day.”
Throughout the last three years they have monitored comments on Middletown’s community Facebook pages. Some people on those sites are critical of the community, he said.
“We didn’t listen to the negative,” he said.
His wife said she has enjoyed watching as empty storefronts on Central have been brought back to life by new businesses. She looks forward to the future when the $6.6 million Central Avenue construction is complete.
“All of that is exciting to see,” she said. “We have heard a lot about the ‘glory days’ and I think they’re coming back.”
HOW TO GO
WHAT: The Cracked Pot
WHEN: Hours starting July 23. 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Tuesdays.
WHERE: 2024 Central Ave., Middletown