The new owner of Jilly Beans has given the coffee shop a new identity, adding new hours, new foods, and a new look.
Jilly Beans will now stay open on Sundays until 7 p.m. and on Tuesday until 10 p.m.— later hours to accommodate college students.
“From my perspective as a college student, I know what it’s like in the semester, and how stressful it can be,” Katie Crowley, who helped brainstorm the new hours, said. “I just thought what I would like — a coffee shop where you can get some drinks, some food, where you can decompress and work in a place close to school, but not your library or your room.”
Mary Ellen Sattler, who purchased the coffee shop in May, added chicken quesadillas, a dark roast coffee, and a new quiche to the menu. She said she is considering introducing pumpkin bread and apple cider for Halloween, and Christmas cookies for December.
“I thought we could have some special things we can do at the holidays, when it is probably hard for students to be away from home for the first time,” manager Julie Crowley said. “Jilly Beans is not the dorm room. It’s kind of a homey place where they can get something to eat and feel like they are a home away from home.”
The shop has also been redesigned. The walls are freshly painted and decorated with photographs taken by Sattler’s sister. A blue moose hangs beneath the clock.
The secret garden has been reimagined as a whimsical fairy garden. Sattler planted new flowers, bought new furniture, and, after a five-year-old girl confronted her about homeless fairies, she added fairy houses to the garden.
“She was just so determined, like, ‘That fairy needs a house,’” Sattler said. “These kids’ imagination is really what pushed the garden over the top. We were talking about getting a little bridge and putting trolls underneath it for the boys. Why not have some fun? If they can have an imagination and an adult can share that with them, that’s great.”
The secret garden has also become a event space for weddings, bridal showers, and birthday tea parties. Sattler has hosted two weddings already, and hopes to bring live music into the shop.
Customers say Sattler has kept the old atmosphere of Jilly Beans alive.
“The atmosphere has continued. With new owners, you can’t always say that,” Hillsdale resident Jan Perry said. “I was sad. Jill was great, and I miss her. But as soon as I saw Mary Ellen, it was ok. It felt right. You see Mary Ellen, and she’s smiling and happy all the time.”