WILLCOX — Source of Coffee keeps pouring out a tale of success and community involvement.
The coffee parlor opened on Nov. 23 at 308 S. Haskell and the flow of customers has yet to show any sign of abatement.
Co-owner Dana Suorsa says the clientele seems to be increasing each week, so much so that he has two new employees in training and will welcome a barista/manager within a month.
That should only lead to bigger and better service.
“Having the barista in about a month to help manage, with that help, we're going to increase deliveries and start curbside and bring in more pastries,” Suorsa said. “It's a little quicker than we thought. It'd be nice not to be running uphill, but we can't complain. The support of the community has been there from Day One, so we just have to learn with the growing pains.”
For Suorsa, along with co-owner and brother Michael, the historic Saxon House was a passion project before it was ever a potential business. They had spent decades in real estate, but their circumstances and skill sets have revealed a new livelihood. It took years of renovating and “16 gallons of caulk” for the Suorsas to meld the Saxon House back together. They repurposed as many materials as possible, including wood from the old porch for the new mantle, a mirror found in the back (which now sits above the mantle) and half of the bar from the Palace Saloon, another historic Willcox landmark.
The project required Dana Suorsa’s environmental design expertise, Michael Suorsa’s graphic design talents and the decorating vision of Debra Suorsa, Dana’s wife. Together, they created a warm environment that mixes high standards with what Dana Suorsa calls “shabby chic.”
They’re not just selling drinks and pastries, but a pocket of community, conversation and even competition with a chess club that Suorsa says is working out really nice. A local girl is planning a book club for 12- to 18-year-olds, and a trivia night is in the works.
Then there's yoga. That will have to wait until Debra Suorsa and the daughters, Katie and Caroline, move to Willcox from San Tan Valley.
“Yoga has been a big part of her life,” Surosa says about Debra. “Yoga has just made her life go so much better. So the yoga, once she gets down here and gets established, she'll start that.”
Then there is the planned introduction of some outdoor ambiance.
“Hopefully in six months – I was hoping we'd have it a lot sooner than that – hopefully in six months we'll have the outdoor patio done, the grass green and the planters looking good, and having the place set up so it could be used more as a venue,” Surosa says. “The way things are going, we just keep getting pulled away to handle the fires. But that's to be expected, I guess.”
Don't forget about the new hire. Talk about community support: the incoming barista, Meg Preston, has local ties. She's the daughter of Chad and Monica Preston, owners of Willcox's Birds and Barrels Vineyards. Surosa says she has a wealth of experience from Phoenix coffee shops, and even helped with the Source of Coffee design and staff training.
Luke Kauffman contributed to this article.