I don’t drink coffee and have never visited a coffee shop, but I am anxiously awaiting the opening of Kehila Coffee at 21 West Union Street in Liberty.

Kehila is a Hebrew word meaning community and community is the focus of what shop owner Darah Finch wants Kehila Coffee to be – Community Coffee, a safe, comfortable place for people to come and enjoy each other’s company.

“When people move away and then want to come back to settle down and raise a family, this is a good place to plant seeds,” the first time business owner said.

Visiting other coffee shops became part of her homework.
It was about two years ago when Darah realized what she wanted to do with her life.

“I think I want to start my own coffee shop,” she announced to friends while enjoying coffee and conversation during a coffee shop stop.

That thought was put on the back burner for a time while seeking the assistance of her father, Gary Finch, and sister Kayla and her husband Michael Rogers.

As is evident, Dad came on board and fit into the plan as head architect and do-everything guy. Kayla and Michael Rogers are owners of the 200-year-old building containing an abundance of history.

The building once housed Max’s Clothing Store, Audree’s Dress Shop and Marie’s Fashion Spot and probably more that I am not aware of.

Sitting within Kehila Coffee, one is surrounded by community history. An original face of the first courthouse clock is readily recognized upon entering the new food service establishment. Pillars from the Dr. Lewis home are also included in the decorating scheme. Several old doors have also been recycled to fit into the design. Bookcases have been made from old materials left from former businesses.

“I wanted to incorporate as much history as possible, and recycle when possible,” Darah said. “To make it a safe and comfortable place to sip and stay a while.”

Work continues every day with a Grand Opening set for Friday, June 25, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. with FREE samples, gift card giveaway, and coffee - while supplies last.

Beyond opening day, Darah hopes the community will see Kehila Coffee as a place for small, private events, bridal showers and get-togethers.

“I want to create a warm, comfortable environment,” she said. “With board games available while you sit and sip.”

Of course, coffee and all its variables (cappuccino, mocha latte, frappe, etc.) is the mainstay of the business. As a starter, the menu will include a chicken salad sandwich, chips and a pickle.

“As we progress, we will add items and build our menu,” Darah said. “Like for breakfast we will have bagels, muffins, etc. and more added later.”

Business hours are currently set Monday thru Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. - noon. Closed Sunday.

Currently, Kehila Coffee is offering a T-shirt Design Contest until June 18. The winning design will be featured on the first Kehila Coffee shirts.

“We want the community to design it,” Darah said.
Here are some guidelines...

•Theme - What the community looks like or means to you.
•Incorporate the words Kehila Coffee.
•Deadline is June 18.
•Submit to kehilacoffee23@gmail.com with your name and phone number.
•Three submitted designs will be selected and posted when the shop opens. Customer will then vote for their favorite.
•The winner will receive their designed T-shirt or Hoodie plus $20 gift card.