By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a month-long series called the 25 Days of Downtown Christmas that highlights the fantastic selection of retailers in downtown Garden City.
A trio of Garden City siblings has brought a cornucopia of multicultural flavors downtown at Central Cup Coffee House, a business they opened on Sept. 18 at 517 N. Eighth St. on the northern edge of downtown.
Melvi Ojeda, 29, Denilson Guevara, 19, and Laura Guevara, 24, all were born and raised in Garden City and grew up helping out at their parents ethnic grocery store.
“Our menu is inspired by a lot of the flavors that we’ve had growing up, along with a lot of unique, trendy flavors like lavender. A lot of floral flavors like rose have gotten really popular. We just like to do unique twists that aren’t really common here in a small city,” Ojeda said.
The siblings’ parents, Jose and Celia Guevara, are originally from El Salvador and own and operate Santa Rosa grocery store, 519 W. Mary St. In the past, they also had an ethnic grocery store in Dodge City.
Ojeda played soccer at Garden City Community College where she met her husband and then moved around for awhile before returning home to help out with the store. She is working on finishing a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Ojeda’s husband is from Argentina and she has traveled to Miami where there is a big mix of cultures. At the grocery store, which Ojeda manages, they get customers from all over the place and their specialty is finding ingredients those customers were familiar with back home.
“That’s something we like to incorporate. Like pastelitos, a guava and cream cheese pastry we have that are a Cuban treat. We have a lot of things like that from different cultures that we like to incorporate into our menu,” Ojeda said.
Central Cup has a wide selection of coffee and coffee drinks, iced and hot teas, lattes, smoothies as well as food such as Argentine empanadas and macarons that are made in a New York bakery and shipped the same day to Garden City.
The coffee house’s most popular drinks currently are the café listo, a milk-based Salvadoran coffee, and the café de olla, which is made with Mexican coffee beans, cinnamon and piloncillo, which is unprocessed cane sugar.
For the holidays, they are offering a hot fruit punch that includes hibiscus flowers, Hawthorn apples, sugar cane, cinnamon and other ingredients.
“We rotate things in, see what the customers like. And they’ll constantly change through the seasons,” Ojeda said about the shop’s drinks and food items.
Operating a business is something the siblings observed from their parents, and said they spent a lot of time after school or during the summers in the grocery store.
“It’s something that we’re used to. We’re blessed to be able to learn about so many different aspects of business,” Ojeda said.
While Denilson hasn’t decided whether he wants to go to college, he said he has always wanted to manage a business.
“The big picture is to run a chain. That’s what I want to do is travel from business to business, managing that chain,” he said.
Their father, Jose Guevara, purchased the building which also has apartments on the second floor. Central Cup’s space was completely remodeled before opening, including opening a wall to turn two separate rooms into one space.
In addition to a few spaces of on-street parking out front, more customer parking is available in back of the building.
Ojeda said she would like to see more activity on the northern part of downtown, especially her area of Eighth Street.
“Kind of like Main Street is, all lit up like the center of downtown I’d like to see these businesses kind of get more involved. I kind of feel like this side’s a little bit forgotten,” she said.
Central Cup’s hours 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. They are closed on Sundays.