Java News closing its doors downtown
By Courtney Parker
The smell of freshly baked goods and Vermont coffee will no longer fill the first floor of the Asa Bloomer building as Java News closes its doors for the last time Friday.
The petite coffee shop opened in December 1999 and has served as a hot spot for many downtown employees.
Owners Tom and Verna Navin, both in their 70s, are looking to leave the business and live a simpler lifestyle in retirement.
“We were hoping to sell rather than close,” said Verna Navin.
After being on the market for several months the shop received several inquiries but no offers, leaving the Navins no option but to close.
“We wouldn’t have closed down if my daughter was still around,” Verna Navin said.
The Navins’ daughter, former owner Verna Lillian Navin, passed away in September 2012 after a 1½-year battle with cancer.
The parents originally joined the business to help out while their daughter was hospitalized and took over after her death.
“It has been a rough road the past few years, but we’ve done well here and the people are wonderful,” Tom Navin said.
The Navins said they have grown fond of their customers.
“Our customers have been very supportive over the year,” Tom Navin said. “If there’s one thing we’re going to miss, it’s them.”
The Navins are not the only ones who will miss Java News.
“They are really an important part of our building,” said Heidi Alberico, administrative assistant at the state’s Department for Children and Families.
Alberico, who can usually be spotted with one of the shop’s doughnuts and a chocolate milk in hand, said she and many of her co-workers make daily trips to the café due to its close proximity to their office. The Asa Bloomer building is home to many state offices.
While she is happy the Navins will finally have some time to themselves, Alberico is sad to see them go.
“Tom and Vern are very kind people who obviously care about their customers,” she said. “They will definitely be missed.”