Coffee Company’s Christmas Jazz Night showcases support for new ownership

With new owners normally comes a host of changes in leadership style, execution and much more. Yet for the Coffee Company, jazz is jazz, coffee is coffee and the community still rallies around the gathering of many different facets of Elizabethton.

Elizabethton’s Coffee Company kept up their holiday tradition Friday evening, bringing the community together for their annual Christmas Jazz Night from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year, however, the event held a different, more significant meaning. For the new owners, Travis and Frankie Bailey, keeping the decades-long tradition was vital.

“We wanted to carry on the torch for such a great holiday event,” Frankie Bailey said.

The original owners, John and Lisa Bunn, have kept up the jazz night tradition for around 18 years, even bringing the same jazz band every year, Rick Simmerly and Friends. The Baileys said the event is one of the company’s biggest events of the year.

The Baileys assumed ownership of the coffee shop this April, after coming from Michigan.

“We wanted to be back in Elizabethton,” Frankie Bailey said. “We reached out to John and Lisa, and we thought this would be a great fit.”

The couple said they worked really hard to fill what they said were large shoes the original owners left behind, and they said the community’s response was better than they expected.

“We did not create this,” Travis Bailey said. “We are just excited to get to pass it on.”

They said they wanted to preserve as much of the original atmosphere of the store as they possibly could.

“We wanted to maintain the excellent quality of the store,” Frankie Bailey said. “We are not taking away the chicken salad.”

They said their staff is vital to keeping the store running as smoothly as it has since they took over.

“We work with an amazing team,” Frankie Bailey said. “We could not have made the transition without them.”

Travis Bailey said the most difficult parts of taking over the business have been “self-inflicted.”

“We want to uphold what [the old owners] have done,” he said. “We enjoy being part of the mechanism, the energy of this place.”

No matter the hurdle the store may need to cross in the future, the couple said they have the community to thank and rely on for their support.

“They have carried us on their shoulders,” he said. “They chose us.”

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