It was Spring of 2019. Carla Kriegel had just taken over leadership of a Christian-based youth group in Brooklyn and was looking for a new place to meet.
She not only found a new home, she found a new business in the process.
The search for a building led to Kriegel and her daughter, Megan, opening Center Ground, a specialty coffee house at 126 Jackson St.
“We opened the coffee house (a year ago) because we were looking for a place for Center Youth Group, which was formerly called ALPO, to meet weekly,” said Kriegel.
The building had previously housed Bear Creek Antiques and before that, Slightly Read bookstore had occupied the space.
“Piccadilly’s Pizza used to be in this building,” recalled Kriegel of some years ago.
Kriegel hired Jack Building & Design Co. LLC of Brooklyn to design and remodel the building, giving it a rustic industrial look.
Kriegel said the drop down ceiling was removed, exposing the original tin tiles in the ceiling.
The business, which is open Monday – Sunday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m., offers guests specialty coffees, smoothies, Frappe, fruit refreshers, specialty teas, biscuits and gravy and pastries such as cinnamon rolls.
In addition to Kriegel, Megan serves as the coffee house manager and design specialist. Also helping behind the counter are Brooke Pyle and Deana Evans.
In addition to specialty coffees and other goodies, the business displays and sells local wares from artwork to jewelry, paintings, greeting cards, T-shirts and locally produced honey. Gift cards are also available.
And in the near future, Kriegel said she plans to start serving light sandwiches and soup to customers. Plans are also in the works to offer a traveling coffee bar option for weddings, business meetings or special events.
“We are also available for small venue rentals,” said Kriegel.
Kriegel said the business is listed on Yelp and Google Maps.
“We sometimes have people come off the Interstate for coffee,” she said. “We have had people from out of state return as they travel through the state.”
Kriegel said the youth group meets at the coffee house on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. during the school year. It is open to young people of all faiths and those looking for a place to meet new people, develop friendships and hear an encouraging word.
The business also offers on-line ordering and can be found on Facebook, Instagram or at www.centergroundcoffeeshop.com. The phone number is 641-522-6055.
“We appreciate all the support of our Brooklyn Community and surrounding area,” said Kriegel. “It was something Brooklyn needed and I love it.”