The Electric Brew's 'Brewthies on Main' will close

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By: Lydia Sheaks
lsheaks@elkharttruth.com

James Buck/The Elkhart Truth

Myron Bontrager, owner of The Electric Brew, isn’t quite sure why a coffee shop inside Better World Books wasn’t as successful as he hoped.

Brewthies on Main, an extension of The Electric Brew that opened in the bookstore in July 2013, will close for good Saturday, Aug. 23.

The combined factors of not enough business and manager Missy Weirich taking another job caused Bontrager to pull the plug on Brewthies.

“We felt like we gave it a fair shot,” he said Tuesday, after a Facebook announcement that Brewthies would close. “There just wasn’t enough interest.”

The bookshop coffee stand opened (originally under a different name) not long after Better World Books moved to South Main Street and The Electric Brew moved into the bookstore’s former location on East Washington Street. 

All that moving could have contributed to customers not realizing that it existed, Bontrager thinks. 

He also wonders if perhaps the limited hours (Brewthies was open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday) might have hurt business.

Even an expansion of the menu to include green smoothies this past spring didn’t do much to increase interest in the little shop.

Those smoothies, by the way — made from real vegetables and fruits — will not be offered at The Electric Brew after Brewthies closes down, but customers with smoothie club cards can redeem them for other items at The Electric Brew.

Weirich was the person who made the smoothies and it would be difficult to train all the Brew employees on how to make them, Bontrager said. 

Plus, he prefers to focus on making the Brew’s current offerings even better. 

Plans are in the works for healthier baked goods, for example.

Weirich said she’s grateful for the opportunity to run Brewthies and that she hopes Brewthies customers will continue to bring their business to both Better World Books and The Electric Brew.

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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