Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Coffee Plantation and its People

We went to see Theo and Diane's new Key West home last night. They decided to move in from Sugarloaf a month or so ago, and rented a two bedroom/two bath conch-style home on Griffin Lane. It's an adorable house, very bright and airy, surrounded by porches, decks and tropical foliage, with a small dipping pool in the back. It's pricey as rentals go, $2100 a month, but worth it for all of its amenities. They're real happy about being in town, figuring that it saves them at least a couple of hours a day in commute time, and allowing them to arrange their schedules so they don't have to leave for work or go home at the same time (they only have one vehicle capable of making the trip from and to Sugarloaf. Theo rides a scooter and Diane a bicycle).

With things running well at the Coffee Plantation, they've been able to hire someone (Elizabeth) two days a week and get two full days off for themselves. Good for them.

Now, the big news is that Ed Swift, their landlord at Bahama Village Market, has given them notice that they will have to move out by December 1 this year, as he has decided to develop most of Bahama Market into residential property, including the historic building that houses the Plantation. Theo and Diane poured a lot themselves into this coffee shop and internet café, turning a space that never could support a business for very long into a welcoming and comfortable space. It seemed to me unfair, but they always knew that such a move was a possibility. When finished, Bahama Market will turn into a development of four residences, each worth more than $1.5 million, with a small hat shop and trolley stop remaining on the corner. T&D were looking forward to the further development of Petronia Street as a gateway to the Truman Waterfront Park.

They haven't decided yet what to do. They're considering moving the Plantation over to Caroline Street. They're also looking at other possibilities, including staying in Bahama Village. If they do decide to move elsewhere in town, I have no doubt that they can re-create the Coffee Plantation or something equally nice in that new spot.

We, their friends, all wish them well.

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