After 16 years of business, Kaya Coffee House has found a new home indefinitely in The Malt Shop. Kaya is now located in the Alumni Room of The Malt Shop, directly across the street from their previous location in the Student Book Exchange building.
Mixed emotions filled the air as news came rolling in of the rezoning. McQuirk purchased the land where Kaya resided and requested for their removal. However, the city of Mt. Pleasant stood behind Kaya. After numerous appearances in court, the owners of the old Kaya location, SBX, forced them out by not resigning their lease.
According to CMLife article, Kaya Coffee Shop owners Emily Miller and Abigail Chambers looked forward to the move. Chambers said, “The more it became a realization that we weren’t going to be re-signing our lease, we started talking to The Malt Shop again. It just ended up being the right move for us.” Miller said, “We are overjoyed to be uniting under roof with The Malt Shop -such an iconic staple of Mt. Pleasant. We are extremely optimistic and excited for what the future has in store for Kaya.”
Malt Shop co-owner Tim Otteman said in the press release regarding the relocation, “We are thrilled to have another locally successful business share our space. Not only does it allow Kaya to stay vibrant on CMU’s north end, it also allows for some exciting partnerships related to entertainment and special events.”
Employee of two years Paul says the change is different, but good. He said, “It’s different because we were in the previous spot for so long it became home, but The Malt Shop welcomed us with open arms and made their Alumni Room our home. As long as customers are happy, we are.”
According to Paul, it’s difficult to estimate how business is going since the move because of spring break and finals. Kaya made the move March 30 and had customers rolling into the new spot by 9 a.m. April 1. However, Paul also said The Malt Shop customers help by bringing in new business. He said, “Many study groups will bounce back and forth between The Malt Shop and Kaya because of the distinctly different menus and vibes. They play off each other.”
Kaya continues to dominate its competitors despite its slightly smaller location. Where Kaya lacks in space, it gains in its unique character and personality.
Kaya Coffee Shop regular and Central Michigan University graduate student Kevin Stier has been going to Kaya for over three years now and sees this change for the better. He said, “Since the move I have seen a lot of new and old faces. I’m glad to see that business is still thriving for Kaya.”
A relatively new Kaya-goer and Central Michigan University senior Ryan Austin Smith said he appreciates the intimacy of Kaya’s new location. “I always would stop in to The Malt Shop during finals week for my past three years at CMU. I never was a coffee shop goer until Kaya joined The Malt Shop. Here I find myself writing articles and studying for hours all while enjoying a nice cup of Joe.”
Despite relocating, Kaya’s menu remained the same. Rumors quickly spread that food would no longer be served since joining with The Malt Shop, but employee Paul says, “The Malt Shop focuses on pizzas, milkshakes, etc. There are two different agendas.” Kaya offers an extensive menu of coffee, tea, sandwiches, soups and baked goods. Kaya is dedicated to providing its customers with the freshest ingredients, as well as serving fair trade coffee from Equal Exchange.
Kaya Coffee House is now indefinitely located in The Malt Shop’s Alumni Room. They look forward to continued success and new business from CMU and the Mt. Pleasant community.