DYNAMIC DUO—Audryanna and Richard Hatcher expand their business concept to Chesapeake, Virginia

The words “merry” and “happy” have saturated our vocabulary in recent weeks. With 2018 now here, the words have less significance. But to some entrepreneurs, business assistance organizations and politicians, 2017 ended and 2018 began in a “joyous” manner. Dreams were fulfilled, goals were met, and history is being made.

For them, it’s like the holiday season never ends.

James Thomas Jr. and Donna L. Taylor followed their dreams and opened coffee establishments. Thomas, in April, opened a Café Mocha Coffeehouse at 1836 Centre Avenue in the Hill District, and in the fall, Taylor opened Joy In Coffee Café at 420 Chartiers Avenue in the Father Ryan Center in McKees Rocks. Both businesses maintain strong ties within their community and relationships with the local community group—Thomas with the Hill House and Taylor with Focus On Renewal.

“The partnership and location are perfect for my business,” said Taylor.

COFFEE IN THE HILL—J.T. Thomas shows that his Café Mocha franchise offers a variety of coffees. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Menu items include a mix of coffee and teas, an assortment of lemonades and cold beverages, various styles of sandwiches, wraps, Angus hamburgers and cheeseburgers, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes and an assortment of pastries and deserts. Joy In Coffee Café also provides catering services.

Thomas, a four-time NFL Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowler, was approached by Hill House Association officials to bring the Café Mocha Coffeehouse to the Hill. The establishment is known for their friendly baristas, delicious hot and iced brewed coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and a variety of teas, blended drinks and desserts. “My goal here is to create a need for businesses like this and others in the Hill District. We want to be an asset to the community as well as the whole city,” said Thomas.

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