John and Maggie Kennedy recently bought the Santa Paula Coffee Shop located on Main Street, Downtown Santa Paula (photo by Brian D. Wilson).

A part time job led to owning the business

August 22, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Brian D. Wilson Santa Paula TimesMaggie Kennedy needed a part time job to pay for her horse, so she took a job at the Santa Paula Coffee Company in downtown Santa Paula and now she owns the business.She took another part time job at a coffee shop in Ventura when the SP Coffee Company cut back. Then she came back to the Coffee Company and when it went up for sale she and her husband John bought the business on a whim. Maggie said she never had any experience with this type of business before. John is retired from Amgen and does the bookkeeping for the business. In past years Maggie had her own mobile notary business, was an addictions counselor and a legal secretary.John said they were thinking about selling their Santa Paula home and moving out of state when this opportunity came up. “We like the area,” he said. “We’ve always liked Santa Paula.” He and Maggie met in Colorado, where John was transferred in 1994. In 1998 they found a house on Terracina in Santa Paula and bought it. “We like the small town atmosphere,” he added.“When the coffee shop first came up for sale I did not think about buying it,” Maggie said. “John said we’d just check into it. And we just decided to do it.”
Maggie said she’s found that the challenge is keeping up with all the things that are necessary to run the business. “It’s learning how to do a business altogether and having to learn it all at once, while doing it,” she noted. She said the city has been very good to them and customers seem to appreciate the changes they’ve made. She added that they’ve also developed good relationships with other downtown businesses.They’ve added entertainment on Tuesday evenings. They either have performers or an open mike. She’s thinking about adding poetry readings as well. They’re going start hosting a local bridge group in the back room. The group was talking to the Iron Horse Restaurant, but they couldn’t accommodate them so the Iron Horse sent them to Maggie. She said they’d like to start reserving the back room for small group meetings. They’re also looking at having board games available for customers to check out. In addition they’ve added books for browsing and for sale.

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