Renovations to Help Small Businesses

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Rumor has it the French Press Cafe in downtown Odessa is staying open for business.

The company announced last October it would be permanently closing due to lack of staffing and traffic downtown. However, with an overwhelming amount of community support, owner Kristel Tate, is back to doing what she loves.

“It’s kind of like homecooking if your mom was a really really good cook,” said customer David Carson.

He says he has been a regular since the cafe opened, and over the years, French Press Cafe became his go-to lunch spot on Mondays,

“I like to go to the hometown places, the local places run by local people,” explained Carson, “I was concerned that they were going to close down because I wouldn’t have a Monday place.”

And for former employee Brandon Roe, it’s the feeling of “home” that keeps him coming back.

“I actually worked here when they first started for a couple months before going back into the oil field. A lot of corporate places, you’re not going to get the same kind of respect and generosity as a small, family owned place,” said Roe.

Owner Kristel Tate says she looks to continue her business, but she would also like to see more people head downtown.

“We’re excited for the other small mom and pop businesses to come down here. There’s been a couple of people looking at the building next door, and anything there is better than a vacant building,” said Tate.

Exective Director, Lawanna Lambert, of Downtown Odessa Inc. says preserving small businesses is critical.

“Oh, it’s mainstay. It’s paramount. I mean I go back to the mission of downtown Odessa.”

Lambert says while the changes may be subtle, they are slowly but surely seeing the progress.

“They’re going to see it boom, they’re going to see it blossom, they’re going to see it grow, they’re going to see it turn into a downtown.

And to all business owners, she says good things are coming.

“Rome wasn’t built overnight and this is going to take some time. Hang in there.”


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