By Madelyn Alexander, Editor in chief
In a highly anticipated development for students and residents in Montevallo, Baba Java Coffee moved into The Strand for a soft opening in February, leading up to a Grand Opening on March 3.
Baba Java has been in business for about five years, with the original location in Hoover. Opening in Montevallo was not part of a plan, but more like fortunate happenstance, according to Head Barista, Abigail Phillips.
“It kind of fell into our laps,” said Phillips.
She explained that Baba Java was purchasing some equipment from Sean Eichelberger, the previous Strand Coffeehouse owner upon their closing. In the process, the idea to purchase the location came up and just made sense.
“We kind of mulled it over for a little bit and realized that it would be good,” Phillips said.
The location was available and already equipped as a coffee shop, making it the ideal location to expand. Plus, the old Type Shop location next door was empty offering an opportunity for Baba Java to incorporate new space.
“We wanted to expand it, make it bigger, and maintain the integrity of the building since it was an old theater,” Phillips said.
Café Manager at the Montevallo location, Jocelyn Johnson, said it was “an easy decision to be near the university and expand and improve the current café space.”
Johnson explained the goal for Baba Java in Montevallo is to create a welcoming environment, hoping students and residents will enjoy exploring their specialty coffee selection. This selection includes seasonal specials. Their spring menu became available on Monday, March 6.
As Baba Java expands their company, Johnson said, “we will continue to be the best that we can be while honoring the community that we grow into.”
As a way to connect with the community, Baba Java at The Strand hopes to host events in the space, such as live music performances and movie screenings, paying homage to the original use of The Strand as a theater.
Baba Java at The Strand is currently open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. They plan on extending those hours eventually to accommodate students’ schedules, according to Phillips. UM students can use their Flex Points at Baba Java.
Madelyn Alexander is the Editor in chief for The Alabamian. She is a senior art major with a minor in multimedia journalism. Her hobbies include ceramics, reading and collecting plants.