Coffee shop to expand
by Jon Mendelson / Tracy Press
Jun 16, 2011 | 5891 views | 12 12 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Harish Patel, and his wife Nalini owners of Barista’s Coffehouse were approved recently for a loan to take over a vacant shop and turn it into Barista’s Ice Cream Parlor.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Harish Patel, and his wife Nalini owners of Barista’s Coffehouse were approved recently for a loan to take over a vacant shop and turn it into Barista’s Ice Cream Parlor. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A downtown Tracy coffee house will soon get into the ice cream business.

Husband and wife Harish and Nalini Patel, owners of Barista’s Coffehouse at 112 W. 10th St., were approved recently for a loan to take over a vacant shop and turn it into Barista’s Ice Cream Parlor. The space was formerly a computer gaming lab, and was home to an ice cream shop in decades past.

In the eyes of Harish Patel, a scoop shop is a perfect fit for the storefront right across the breezeway.

“I keep looking at this empty space, and we keep having visions,” he said Thursday. “Why not make it a match?

“These are the two things my wife and I know best, ice cream and coffee.”

The pair started from scratch an ice cream store in the West Valley Mall in 1997, and five years later sold the successful business.

The couple will resurrect that expertise at the 110 W. 10th St. shop, which will serve “premium” ice cream, along with splits, handmade shakes, malts and floats.

“(I like to) put out a quality product and make customers smile,” Harish Patel said.

Plans are in place to open in a couple months, once construction is complete.

The venture is made possible by a small business loan program started a few years ago by the city of Tracy as part of a “stimulus” effort.

Tracy put aside $1 million in old developer fees to act as seed money, and that was leveraged by the Grow America Fund into $4 million available for local businesses. So far, Barista’s is the first to take advantage of the program, said Ursula Luna-Reynosa, the city’s economic development director.

“I’m really excited that the first loan went to a downtown business,” she said. “It proves that businesses can be successful downtown.”

According to Luna-Reynosa, the ice cream parlor’s business plan calls for hiring five employees, and the Patels will have 10 years to pay back the $150,000 loan.

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Govgeek
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June 23, 2011
CONGRATULATIONS! My two favorite things in the world, coffee and ice cream! Tracy has been lacking a quality scoop shop and I've been forced to give my business to Oakland's Fentons Creamery. I really enjoy how the Patel's and their highly qualified staff treat customers and really get to know you. It's not a big-box franchise and they really care about quality and the atmosphere.

For example, a long time ago when I asked for some sugar-free peppermint in my drink they apologized because they didn't stock it. But amazingly by my next visit it was available and has been ever since. Impressive.

This could not have gone to a more appropriate business.

-Todd
williamalbert
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June 23, 2011
This is so sad. When I first read this story I didn't give it much attention, but later it occurred to me. We already have one specialty coffee shop downtown serving Mitchell's Ice cream that opened a year and 1/2 ago. They are barely making it and had heard that it almost closed during the winter.Now I know both owners and they are both good people. I would have no issue if the new shop opened with private funds. But to use money from a downtown development fund that potentially will close one business doesn't seem right. Are these funds available to open another hair salon or Mexican Store? What if someone applied for this money for another tattoo shop? I think it makes good business sense to screen what businesses were are using public monies for look at what downtown doesn't have to offer rather then trying to close a business down.
superfly
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June 18, 2011
Great news. This should be a great addition to downtown and hopefully will draw more of us down there than another hair salon would have.

Unfortunate that it took several years for anyone to take advantage of this loan program. Hopefully as things improve there will be more.
TaxNSpend
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June 17, 2011
Hey Sneaky,

The hardest thing about a business is the start up costs and the first year or two in business. Hopefully the loan has some sort of balloon or scale which accounts for the first year or two, because 10 years is certainly adding to the overhead.

I have seen may many business out compete and sustain due to SBA and similar loans. It can be done, and downtown sure needs all the help it can get!
Sneaky
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June 16, 2011
“I’m really excited that the first loan went to a downtown business,” she said. “It proves that businesses can be successful downtown.”

mmmmkay. I suppose it proves that they can succesfully get a loan but that is about it. Dont get me wrong, it is clear that businesses can be successful downtown since there are a number of businesses that have been there quite a while, without government/taxpayer hand-outs I might add. I just dont see how getting a loan proves they are succussful. If in 10 years they have paid back the loan and are still in business then you can tell me about their success.
LovelyTracy
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June 16, 2011
Very nice... I wish you all the success... definitely the kind of places we need downtown!

Cant wait to take my nephews!
LuckyInTracyNot
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June 16, 2011
Sounds nice. I like barristas atmosphere, inside and outside there are tables. I'd like to see more open up with tables outside.
ciscokid52
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June 16, 2011
All the success, Harish. I'm sure you'll do well. I'll definitely support your success going forward (except when "black" plays you in softball). =)
LAM75
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June 16, 2011
By the way, I used to go to the former ice cream shop for Rocky Road!
LAM75
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June 16, 2011
I wish the Patel's the best. I have known them ever since Barista's opened and they are great. If people are in the mood for wonderful coffee or a nice scoop to cool off the day, they will surely get business!!!
newtotracy
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June 16, 2011
aw nuts...I just watched my rear end get bigger while I read this! I can tell you one person who will be visiting to buy malts during the hot summer (and probably cold winter too!)...

awesome news...and great someone is tapping the stimulus! I just wish Barista's was on Central to draw more foot traffic...but I'll take it! :-)
tracyresdnt
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June 16, 2011
soda shop theme? :)


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