Kristy Hagan became the new owner of Flood City Cafe in downtown Johnstown this spring.
It's her first time as a business owner, but Hagan believes she is ready for the challenge.
A server for 20 years, Hagan says the food service business is something she has always enjoyed.
“I worked at all kinds of different restaurants and bars and I always loved it,”she says. “It was my fun job so I just wanted to take it to the next level and have my own business and not be at a desk eight hours a day.
“I was working in the mental health field and had had enough of that.”
But there was another reason, the Davidsville woman became one of the city's newest business owners on May 30. “My dream is to be a part of Johnstown,” she says. “I grew up in Hornerstown and I have always loved Johnstown and I wanted to come back. I believe in Johnstown and I believe we are at the beginning of great things that are happening in the city. I want to be a part of it. I want to be able to say, 'I was down here (and was part of the revitalization).' I just want to be involved with everything that's going on down here.”
Hagan is married to Tom and the couple has three children: Noah, 18; Rocco, 10; and Gina, 9. “The kids plan to be involved in the business,” Hagan says.
Flood City Cafe has gained a reputation as a comfortable, welcoming place to get a good cup of coffee. It also is known for its distinctive and delicious lunch menu items.
Hagan plans to keep things pretty much as they were. “We were able to keep some of the same employees and they help to ensure that our drinks are made consistently,” she says. “We have a new chef, Paul Barker, from Florida. He has just been wonderful and he created the new summer menu and it has already been a hit. We plan to continue to offer the same menu as before and just add seasonal items.
“We kept the classics of what people like.”
For now, the hours will remain the same, Hagan says. “But we would like to add more evening hours for dinners and possibly Saturdays.”
Friday nights are still open mic nights and local artists are welcome to play from 11 a.m. to noon for Music Mondays.
Hagan would like to expand the catering business. “One of my dreams is to eventually have a food truck,” she says. She also plans to open a community room that can seat up to 30 people. “It can be used for private events, painting parties, baby showers, yoga classes,” she says. “That's my next step.”
One of the cafe's biggest assets is the personal touch, Hagan says. “I will probably know your name if you come in more than once. You're not just going to come in and get a cup of coffee and be on your way – unless that's what you want. You're definitely going to get a more personal experience when you come to Flood City.”
Hagan says she really appreciates all the support she has had. “A lot of people from the city come in and introducing themselves to me and let me know if I need anything that they are here to support us. I really appreciate that. I just feel very welcome.”
Hagan also appreciates her regular customers who are in the cafe every day. “We have free Wifi and some guys come in here and sit here the whole time we're open,” she says. “We have students utilize our loft. Supervisors meet with students up there and they really enjoy having a quiet place and a comfy chair.”
Of course, it's more than a good atmosphere and free WiFi that draws customers to Flood City Cafe. “We honestly have great coffee. It's not just that we say we have great coffee, we really, truly do.”
Hagan says she realizes she has a lot to learn about owning and running your own business. “It's a little overwhelming, because I have big shoes to fill and I really want to do a good job,” she says. “But I am loving it. I feel like a new person. I feel free.
“I'm just very happy.”
For more information on Flood City Cafe or to view the menu, go to www.floodcitycafe.com or check it out on Facebook and Instagram.