ADAMS CENTER – After taking over a closed restaurant with no previous restaurant experience last year, the couple behind Beese’s Depot Café will soon be celebrating a successful first year in business.
Along the railroad tracks in a quiet part of the hamlet of Adams Center is the cafe, the name a nod to its train depot past. At 13449 Depot St., the cafe had been closed for about a year when new owners John D. and Rebeka L. Beese reopened in early December 2020.
Even before the two got married, they were regulars at Depot Café on Sundays. Today, they own the establishment and serve customers in the same place where they have created memories over the years.
The cafe offers fresh, homemade bread every day, and Ms. Beese has gone from staples like wheat and rye to mushy creations like the cranberry and cinnamon swirl. She said she recently started making muffins and bagels.
“It’s really awesome,” Ms. Beese said. “The community kind of came together. Everyone is looking for baked goods all the time and everyone is excited about the espresso machine because this genre did not exist before in Adam’s Center.
As for the interior of the cafe, the couple repainted the place and added some personal touches to it, but mostly they kept it as it was – a tribute to the history of the place.
The space also includes a retail shelf with a selection of handcrafted items such as signs, soaps and jewelry made by members of Ms. Beese’s family.
Her family also owns the Burrville Cider Mill in Watertown, so she has worked there and made donuts for as long as she can remember. Just as she grew up with the cider house, her children, whom she called “mini bosses”, grow up with coffee.
Mr. and Mrs. Beese share three young children, Emmalyne, Lyla and Flynn. The three children were having breakfast on Friday morning. Their mother joked that they were rushing to get their French toast, tell employees what to do, and then leave.
“They love it,” Ms. Beese said. “I grew up in the cider house, so it’s kind of the same environment where kids come in and our employees basically help raise our kids. We also teach at home, so you’ll hear employees in the background teaching the kids how to spell. We are like a big family.
On Friday morning, the cafe released Adele’s new album, “30,” for guests who enjoyed their food and drinks. The cafe serves everything from lattes, espressos and smoothies to fortified coffees, mimosas and tequila sunrises.
A warm and welcoming atmosphere greets guests as they enter the historic building, and Ms Beese said she thinks people come back because it’s relaxing – and they know they can eat great food. All the food at the cafe is made from scratch, she said.
The biggest seller right now is Cinnamon French Toast. Ms. Beese bakes cinnamon rolls every day, and those that aren’t sold or eaten at the end of the day are frozen to be made into French toast the next day.
“People love it. We also top it with our homemade maple butter, so he just throws it overboard, ”she said.
When the cafe had just started it was a family affair, with Mr and Mrs Beese and his sisters, as well as a majority of his family, helping for the first month or so. Once they got their feet under them, they hired a few more people. Mr Beese’s brother Edmund now works at the cafe, along with family friends Cassie Ziegler and Kyler Loya. Ms Beese said there were usually four or five people working at the cafe at any given time.
At first the cafe offered breakfast, brunch, and lunch, but lunch got too stressful to be served on top of everything else, so they cut back on breakfast and brunch. They hope to resume the midday service this winter.
Hours of operation are now 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekends only, but after the official end of the cider season, the café will be open at the same times every day of the week except Wednesday. Ms Beese said they hope to eventually extend the hours.
Having no restaurant experience and never having been a waiter before buying the coffee with her husband, Ms Beese said it took some trial and error to get it right in the beginning. She said it had probably taken them six to eight months before things felt like things were just flowing.
“It was a learning curve and a half, but having family and friends who were willing to let it go and help us figure it all out was a blessing,” Ms. Beese said. “The community has been amazing. With COVID going around and everything like that, I was a little worried that people might not want to come to a restaurant, especially a new restaurant, but that wasn’t the case at all. “