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Daily Journal
     August 3, 2021      #68-215 KDJ
ReCharge Coffee Co. recently opened its third location in downtown Kankakee in conjunction with Donut Foundry, located adjacent to Station Street Cafe and The Pizza Kitchen at 150 E. Station St. The Manteno startup opened a Bourbonnais location at 415 Main St. NW in May.

Daily Journal/Tiffany Bl

ReCharge reenergizing downtown 

By Lee Provost

On Aug. 15, 2019, Alicia Betts and her son, Seth, opened ReCharge Coffee Bar in what would be considered downtown Manteno.

Fast forward less than two years and the Manteno-based duo — along with husband-and-wife business partners Adam and Gina Baumgartner of Peotone — now has three coffee shops, including its new hub store at 150 E. Station St. in downtown Kankakee.

Baumgartner is the owner of the downtown property known as the Station 150 Food District.

The food district will house ReCharge Coffee, the Station Street Cafe and the Donut Foundry.

”Pizza Kitchen” eatery will be coming soon.

The Station Street building, the recent home of Papi’s Pizza, then owned by Bradley resident Russell Lind, is the foursome’s newest addition, having only opened the location on July 13.

The Station Street Cafe will be the constant here. The cafe will offer salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and what Alicia describes as “unique foods.”

ReCharge is setting out to reenergize the local community’s love of coffee, lattes, espressos, cold brews (coffee, that is), hot teas, frappes, smoothies, Red Bull mixers and the list goes on and on.

ReCharge’s first location came to Manteno at 49½ W. Second St. The brew crew opened a second location in Bourbonnais at 415 Main St. NW — which is along Illinois 102 — on May 10 of this year in the tiny double-drive-thru-only location commonly known as ”The Hut.”

“This is a great opportunity. We want to take this to the next level,” said Seth, 20, a 2019 graduate of Manteno High School.

But expanding a business on the heels of a pandemic?

That situation did not faze Seth and Alicia, 56, in the least.

“People want to get out. People want to return, and without the patrons, we wouldn’t be here. It is our customers that are pushing us forward,” Alicia said.

Regarding the three locations: Kankakee is opened from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; Bourbonnais is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; and Manteno 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The downtown Kankakee location is different than the business owners’ Manteno and Bourbonnais locations. Those spots are simply grab-and-go.

Kankakee’s site has seating and has breakfast and lunch items as well.

The business also operates its own coffee bean roasting. They started roasting their own coffee beans — ReCharge Coffee Co. — in March 2020.

Seth cannot say how far ReCharge may go in the coming years, but with the Kankakee site as its distribution point for products and the coffee bean roasting site to its two other locations, anything is possible in coming years.

“A lot of people were letting COVID win,” Seth said. “We weren’t going to allow it. We were determined to keep pushing forward.”

For the foursome, though, there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what they have in mind.

Seth sheepishly admits he wasn’t even an everyday coffee drinker until recently. How things change.

He knows there are a wide variety of locations where the coffee-drinking public can have their needs satisfied.

“We are about customer service,” he said. “Our mission is to make everyone’s experience great. We know we have a lot of work to do to perfect our brand. We take no guest for granted. We take each customer as an opportunity to serve them well.”

The Daily Journal’s Lee Provost writes about local business rumors, comings and goings and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at lprovost@daily-journal.com or 815-937-3364

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