June 6th was the first Thursday of the month and the first 1st Thursday in Kenai at the new C Cups Specialty Coffee location in the Already Read Books store. A dream come true for owner Amy Jackman, “Initially when I was starting C Cups Specialty Coffees, I was focused on a sit down internet Café. Fate had other ideas however, and 2 years ago this June our drive thru was opened next to Olga’s Jewelry in Kenai. Our success has taught me a lot about business and about myself,” Jackman told the Dispatch in an interview, “Now as fate would have it, an amazing opportunity fell into my lap. I was introduced to Benjamin Jackinsky, owner of Already Read Books in Kenai and we both had similar ideas about books, the internet and really great Italian Style Espresso and savory pastries. So here we are four months later at our grand opening of an amazing creation. I have partnered with two really amazing artists/bakers and we plan on giving to Kenai what Soldotna has been enjoying for years, but better of course,” she laughed, “Imagine an eclectic mix of smooth jazz, tabla beats, reggae, Frank Sinatra and more softly playing from above. The bold smell of Fresh Italian Espresso being made as the whir from the steam wand froths up milky goodness. A glass front case filled with colorful creations that are equally as delicious to eat like fresh scones, cupcakes, home baked cookies and quiche. We even cater to gluten free and vegan dieters,” she said.
The tables and chairs at the new C Cups were designed and built by owner Amy Jackman & Ginger Wik from Poofy Puffin Upholstery in Kenai. The cafe, like the drive thru, is a work of art and augments the “First Thursday’s” monthly events which will happen every month throughout the year. “We are encouraging artists of all types to exhibit with us. We want a diverse, eclectic mix just like our treats and coffees we offer. We have an in house piano and welcome musicians to come play in whatever styling they choose. The cafe has a gorgeous sliding glass door that opens big and wide out onto our sunny seating area. The best part is we are set neatly inside a used bookstore. There’s a never ending labyrinth of nooks and crannies to get lost in while hunting for an amazing new read. It’s incredible what you can come across it blows my mind every day I’m here,” said Jackman.
On display at the Already Read Books this month are portraits by Natasha Ala who is the daughter of a homestead family in Ridgeway, “My art reflects the community and people of the community and my relationship with the people of the community. Some of the things we hung here are very old works that I have done over the years but others are new and a sampling of art that I am continuing to do as I move forward as an artist,” explained Ala at the 1st First Thursday. C Cups also offers free Wi-Fi and will be open year round. 9am - 5pm Monday thru Saturday.