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Economic troubles brewing for Clayton coffee shop

Posted October 21, 2008

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— Something's brewing at the Coffee Mill in downtown Clayton. But lately, it hasn't been business.

The coffee shop has been in operation for eight years, but over the past six months, co-owner Jodi Sager says business has dropped 25 percent – a reality from which is tough to recover.

"When you lose that extra income, you lose marketing dollars to get that extra word out that you're here," Sager said.

By the end of the year, she says, she and her husband, Cliff Morgan, will decide whether to close.

"Small businesses struggle from month to month versus people that have an income that they can fall back on. And that's where I'm really struggling, right now."

Chamber of Commerce officials say businesses like Sager's is indicative of many small businesses. They say how they fair depends on how well they were doing before the downfall of the economy.

"Things have just kind of lowered back down to what will probably be maybe even normal for a lot of places," said Keith Branch with the Clayton area Chamber of Commerce.

Sager says things are anything but normal at her shop.

"People don't have that extra income to buy a cup of coffee," she said.

12 Comments

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  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 22, 2008

    $1.00 is too much for bitter strong coffee.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 22, 2008

    What kind of extra income does it take to buy a $1 cup of coffee with free refills?

    I save money by making my own coffee at home and its free at work.

  • Raleigh Oct 22, 2008

    I'm surprised they are open.

    Last June, I went to an event called "Millstock". I walked into the Coffee Mill and ordered a 12 ounce Pepsi in a can and I was told, that will be $2.00. I said, there must be a mistake, I ordered a Pepsi in the can....nope, its $2.00.

    I said, no way, I am not paying $2.00 for a can soft drink, so I left the Coffee Mill.

    GREED!

    That was the last time I went to the Coffee Mill.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Oct 22, 2008

    more people living in clayton is a bad idea. The roads are clogged as it is coming in from Johnston county. Who wants to live in a county that refuses to allow a non-christian book store.

  • Carolina Oct 22, 2008

    "Clayton is no Chapel Hill. People down there are too broke paying for the expensive gas in Johnston cty to come here for their jobs in Raleigh."

    Not true. A lot of people who live in Clayton work in RTP. My husband and I have lived there for eight years, and we deliberately bought a house there instead of Raleigh because nice houses in Raleigh were out of our price range. Maybe if more people had made the same decision, instead of going into debt for a house they couldn't afford, our country might not be having all these financial problems.

    As for the Coffee Mill, it would be a huge shame if the shop closed. My husband and I go there on our way to work most mornings, and they know us well enough to have our order ready when we get to the counter. ($3.15 for a small and a medium coffee. Definitely NOT Starbucks prices.)

  • FromClayton Oct 22, 2008

    and dont forget, a new coffee place just opened up 4 blocks down the street. That probably hurt both places. I know of 4 coffee places in Clayton town limits, what do they expect? sad that the one thats been there longest is going out. wish it was one of the others....

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Oct 22, 2008

    Clayton is no Chapel Hill. People down there are too broke paying for the expensive gas in Johnston cty to come here for their jobs in Raleigh.

  • cam7002 Oct 21, 2008

    Yeah, Ignorant in NC, some of us here even have real teeth in our heads, finished high school, graduated from college (and have graduate degrees), don't drive SUVs, vote Democratic, don't wear white hoods, don't chew tobacco, don't aim for animals on the highway, don't live in trailers, etc....

    That kind of stuff is vicious stereotyping based, essentially, on class discrimination. People should open their eyes to the reality of the South. Neither the South nor Clayton is as backwater or backwards as is too often presumed. Furthermore, there's a notion that we lack culture. Just because it isn't revered like some folk, indigenous or naive art, the people in Johnston County and Clayton have a lot of culture and class.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 21, 2008

    "People don't have that extra income to buy a cup of coffee," she said.

    What kind of extra income does it take to buy a $1 cup of coffee with free refills? Not much. But that's not what they sell. They sell Chocolate Mocha creme junk for $4 a cup and no free refills. Why would I do that when Waffle House still sells regular coffee for a buck? If I want a milk shake, I'll pay the $4 somewhere else. And get something that truly tastes like a milk shake. These fancy coffee houses were created for people who never liked coffee to start with.

  • bs101fly Oct 21, 2008

    it's like donuts and ice cream, you gotta sell a lotta coffee to make REAL money!

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