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Sam Cox, Saints Rest owner, opens Lucky Cat Coffee


By Jonathan Gomez

For the past two weeks, Sam Cox, owner of Saints Rest Coffee, has been adjusting and perfecting the operations of her new drive-thru coffee shop. Lucky Cat Coffee, which officially opened on September 5th, is located on 5th and West St. across the street from Kum & Go. Cox described her decision as “really something I’ve been mulling over for the last couple of years. I’m one of those people that when I go to other locations I am frequently at drive-thrus. It’s just easier for me and it’s convenient. I’ve been pondering over it for several years… I finally was just in a position in my life where I had an empty nest after all my kids graduated. I just thought this was the perfect time. So, my husband and I talked about it and we just made a decision that we would give it a shot.”

The addition of a drive-thru coffee location in Grinnell will definitely attract new clientele that lives in Grinnell or those traveling on I-80. According to Cox, “There are 2,000 cars that travel down this stretch of highway every day. That being said we have a lot of commuters that come into Grinnell to work. Whether it’s working at the hospital, whether it’s working at Grinnell Mutual or one of the factories. So, I just felt like there were people like myself, particularly in the mornings, that it’s just easier to come through a drive-thru.”

Although Cox now owns both Saints Rest Coffee and Lucky Cat Coffee, she explained the origin of the different names and why she would prefer they be regarded as two different businesses as opposed to a continuation of Saints. In her own words, “We batted around lots and lots of names. I wanted it to kind of stand on its own. If it fell, it was going to fall on its own and if it was going to succeed, it was going to succeed on its own. I have the lucky cats in the shop, if you’ve been in there you’ve seen them near my register. And one day I had a customer come inand she said, ‘Oh I love your lucky cat,’ and I was like ‘thank you, I like it too,’ and she was like ‘Everyone should have a lucky cat’. And the clouds parted and I knew that was it.”

Despite Lucky Cat Coffee operating smoothly these past weeks, there is still more outreach and minute details being worked out. Cox explained how things are piecing together very well, “My price menu just came in so that will be going up soon. I just opened a Facebook page today, I just got on Instagram today. Next month is the real month where we are supposed to do actual hours, have other employees besides myself, and really let it get off the ground. So, this is me just figuring out all the kinks.”

Eventually, the hours for the first six months are supposed to be 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. In addition, blended drinks will now be on the menu such as Frappuccinos and smoothies, as well as the traditional drinks that can be purchased at Saints Rest. As for people without access to a car, Cox said, “You can walk up but there will be no sitting. At this point, we are already cannibalizing the existing business of Saints Rest and so my goal was if you want to sit and have a meeting, or do homework, then that’s the location for that.”

Sam Cox, owner of Saints Rest, recently opened Lucky Cat Coffee, a drive-thru coffee place located on West and 5th Street and open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Photo by Alexandra Fontana.
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