Perry’s local coffee shop, Perry Perk, celebrated four years of business on Christmas Eve this year. Sitting among other storefronts and shops in Perry’s downtown district, the coffee shop resides as a hub for all generations who are looking for a quiet place to start their day or end their evening.
Nestled side-by-side to other businesses in the district, the aroma of coffee and baked goods fill the shop.
A television set plays the news and daytime shows overheard, and customers can chose from an array of black steel chairs featuring a coffee mug design at the backrest of the seat.
The store is often operated by one individual at a time, but the opportunity to work behind the counter spills over to others.
There are no set busy days or times in the coffee shop, Perry Perk Owner, Tari Mason says.
“Wind keeps people away,” Mason laughs. “Its doesn’t really matter about temperature – it’s wind.”
Perry Perk opened its doors for the first time on Dec. 24, 2013, Mason says. Prior to the coffee shop, the venue was home to a hair salon.
“We just had to find water lines and contractors and people that would actually work on an old building,” Mason said about the construction process.
The business never announced an official date however, and decided to open when they were ready.
“The day that we were done [putting everything together], we would close up and go home and go to bed,” Mason said about the game plan. “Then [we would] just open the next morning, and turn the open sign on, and post something on Facebook.”
On Dec. 23, everything in the shop was finished, so the business opened, quietly, on Christmas Eve in 2013.
“A lot of people bought gift certificates,” Mason recalled. “That was a really busy day – it was fun.”
Joining the community
Mason grew up in South Dakota and lived in Las Vegas for more than 20 years before deciding to move to Perry after “the bottom fell out of Vegas in 2010,” Mason described. Mason used to visit Perry during Christmas as her parents and relatives were from around the area.
“My whole family was in construction and construction just plummeted in Las Vegas,” Mason said. “So we decided to move the family here which is so much better for the kids and moved here and its been great, wonderful.”
Before the existence of Perry’s sole coffee shop, Mason worked at Medicap [Pharmacy] when she made the move with her family from Las Vegas to Perry, and later managed the Big Chair Coffee shop previously located by the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza.
“I worked at Medicap [Pharmacy] for the first two-and-a-half years while we were here and then I left them to work at Big Chair Coffee because I love coffee,” Mason said.
After six months at Big Chair, the coffee shop closed down.
Today, menu items from Perry Perk are similar to those previously offered at Big Chair, Mason says.
Offering items ranging from smoothies to both blended ice and hot coffee, as well as panini lunches accompanied by a bag of potato chips and “strawberry soup,” Mason says the coffee shop isn’t meant to overtake other businesses in town.
“I didn’t want to step on any other restaurants toes either so I tried to keep it unique to downtown,” Mason said.
Throughout the past four years, Mason said she has learned a lot from the business.
“I think that customer service and getting to know the community is probably 75 percent of my business,” Mason said. “The drinks and the coffee and the food just come with it.”
The business has also trickled down into her family life, providing her children with an insight into the work force.
“It’s been so wonderful for my family,” Mason said. “It’s given my kids work ethic and a place to go.”
“A place for their friends and just a meeting place – a middle place for everybody.”
As their fourth year in business wraps up, Mason says to stay tuned for 2018 – more is yet to come.