Tracy Asah is a coffee fanatic. When she was 21 years old and living in Atlanta, she started making coffee for her office and got hooked – not in the “caffeine addict” way, but in the same way a beer fan becomes knowledgeable of different hops and flavors.
This month, Asah is living out her fantasy – opening Cupajoe, a new coffee shop on West Market Street in York’s WeCo district.
“I’m doing this all on my own,” said Asah, who’s coffee taste is more of a medium white roast. “This is my dream.”
Her passion for coffee started at 21 while making coffee for her office. Asah, 56, said coffee wasn’t a big movement like it is now – the days when a regular coffee was just served black and people used large and small, not venti and grande, to describe the size cup of coffee they wanted.
In her life, Asah has lived across the country, including a small town in Michigan; Austin, Texas; and Maryland before settling in York County 12 years ago. Through all the stops, one constant remained the same – the love of small coffee shops and cafes along the way.
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She’s been trying to bring one to the area since 2008, but her love for downtown York and a chance to bring one the area blossomed while on jury duty in 2014.
“I was on jury duty down here for a full week and just saw a need for a community coffee shop,” Asah said. “We have a few places that offer coffee, but I wanted this kind of location.”
The new coffee shop was previously the home of New Grounds café, which closed in 2017. Since she’s taken over the place, Asah revamped much of the lighting, creating a brighter interior she hopes will soon be home to local artists’ work. Even the bathrooms have an artist’s touch, with a coffee-themed mural in each of the bathrooms.
Aside from an old church pew Asah bought from a woman in Cantonsville, the most noticeable piece in the coffee shop is an upright piano. The piano, built in York, was once in Central Market. It was dirty and out of tune, but Asah just liked the piece.
Recently, a York County judge entered the coffee shop and offered to tune the piano for free. He spent some time on it, but couldn’t complete the work in the time allotted. He told Asah he’d be back to finish it, but first, played a few tunes off of the piano.
The moment almost brought a tear to Asah’s eye.
“To me, it made it home,” she said. “I love the community – people coming together, different diverse people coming together and having a place to be.”
If you go…
Where: 284 W. Market St., York
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
More information: Check out Cupajoe on Facebook
Read or Share this story: https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2018/08/09/cupajoe-new-coffee-shop-opens-downtown-york/862388002/