Cornerstone Coffee House recently opened at 124 W. Main St. in Peotone, Ill. — which is no small feat, given the restrictions currently in place due to the pandemic.
But as we've learned over the last several months, Amy Seyller and Jim Williams are determined business owners who have overcome a number of obstacles to open their cafe in downtown Peotone, a village of about 4,000 people in southern Will County.
"The community has showed up for us," Jim says, "and we just want to make sure we are doing the same for them."
Now that the doors are open, Amy and Jim have plans to host some events, including coffee tastings for the community. In the meantime, as one of their suppliers, we sat down with Amy and Jim to chat about the vision for their business.
Why did you decide to open a coffee shop?
Jim: We wanted to do something for the community.
Amy: It was not always our dream to open a coffee shop. We just wanted to be a place that was comfortable and felt like home. It just so happened that our appreciation for coffee and our passion for the community came together.
What is it about Peotone that made you decide to open here?
Jim: Everyone was so welcoming. The community, the city officials, members of the coffee industry — everyone just showed us how much potential was here. Not to mention the beauty of the historic downtown feel and the atmosphere. There is just nothing like it.
What have you learned in just the short amount of time you have been doing this?
Jim: Patience. We both have had to learn not to worry and to trust God.
Amy: We have never been an employer, but we are blessed with great employees. Overall, it’s a new way of thinking, but we have great people to rely on.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Amy: Neither of us had previous business experience. It has been a lot of learning as we go, from organization to time management, maintaining product inventory, and everything else.
How do you choose which suppliers to work with?
Jim: It’s really about if their philosophy matches ours. We want everything to be eco-friendly, fair trade, organic, and as local as possible.
Amy: Caleb was really our first contact and that is how we began, by choosing to supply with Connect Roasters. The philosophy matched ours.
What about Connect Roasters made you want to work with us?
Amy: It was a match in philosophy, but it was also Caleb.
Jim: His personality, I mean he will drop whatever he is doing and help us. I once realized we were running low on stock. I asked if he had any of the coffee that we needed ready and in stock. He immediately stopped what he was working on to package it all up and by the time I got to Bourbonnais, it was ready for us. What more could we ask for in a supplier?