News and Tribune

Business/Money

June 3, 2012

Earth Friends Cafe to open inside NA-FC Library

HobKnobb coffee shop closed May 31

NEW ALBANY — Earth Friends Cafe soon will open a second location inside the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library.

Earth Friends, located at 3211 Grant Line Road in Summit Square, will take over the spot next month which previously housed Hobknobb Roasting Co., which closed May 31. Hobknobb opened a location inside the front entrance of the library in March 2011. The Cafe hopes to open July 9.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” said Stacie Bale, operator and a co-owner of Earth Friends Cafe. “We are really excited about it.”

Bale and NA-FC Library Director Rose Frost said several library patrons had expressed an interest in having hot food and sandwiches available, instead of just coffee. The library board and Barb Fischer, owner of Hobknobb, agreed to break their two-year lease last month.

“We average 5,000 people a week in the building and a lot of those people spend time in the Indiana Room or are from out of town and want something quick and good,” Frost said. “Barb is a wonderful lady and has great coffee. But the general reaction was we needed more than just coffee. Stacie offers so many great options.”

Bale and the library board agreed on a two-year lease, which will likely be signed at the next board meeting June 7.

Earth Friends Cafe will offer a variety of drinks along with salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups, fruit and desserts. In the fall, hot sandwiches will be added to the menu.

“We will do it right; all we serve is fresh food made to order,” Bale said.

Earth Friends Cafe serves locally produced products including meats from Marksbury Farms in Kentucky, which has high standards for animal treatment and harvest, Bale said. There will also be several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Bale said despite the ongoing road construction along Grant Line Road, business at the Summit Square location has been strong.

“April and May have been our biggest months, even with construction,” she said. “We try to use all local products when possible. We will serve no meats from factory farms.”

Frost said her staff is excited about Earth Friends Cafe arrival since many are regular customers. She also thinks the cafe will be a hit with employees of City-County Building.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” Frost said. “I think they can develop a strong business here ... it’s real visible and I hope they do well.”

Earth Friends Cafe will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

HobKnobb maintains its location in Floyds Knobs along Paoli Pike.

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ON THE WEB

• Earth Friends Cafe — earthfriendscafe.com

• Hobknobb Roasting Co. — hobknobbroasting.com

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