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Bookkeeper turned barista loves interacting with customers

Karen Goddard, the owner of Silverdale’s Cafe Noir coffee shop, knows a thing or two about grinding beans and crunching numbers.

After spending years at Keyport and Bangor doing bookkeeping, a friend of Goddard’s, who also worked at Keyport and had bought a coffee stand, decided to sell the business.

Goddard jumped at the chance and took over the Coffee Break espresso stand just off Silverdale Way.

“I can’t really tell you what the passion is exactly,” Goddard said. “It was just there. When it became available and I could buy it, it was just right. It was what I wanted to do.”

She eventually sold the stand and went to work at a prosthetics company, but was laid off after six years due to restructuring. From there, she made her way to Cornerstone Coffee on Pacific Avenue in downtown Bremerton.

“So, I was back dealing with people and making coffee again,” Goddard said.

After a few years pulling shots in Bremerton, she eventually got another tip about a Silverdale coffee business that was on the offering block. Once again, she jumped at the chance and bought Cafe Noir from Mike Ferrin and took over on Thanksgiving Day last year. She’s got big plans for the already popular cafe and will soon be offering crepes, an expanded panini menu, desserts and more catering.

“As far as Cafe Noir goes, I think the key is growth,” she said. “It’s a good location and there’s a lot of people that know this area and know we’re back here, but you’ve got to grow.”

Goddard wants to make other changes beyond the menu as well. She’s in the midst of repainting and rearranging the expansive space and hopes to regularly feature work from local artists in the back room.

“Everybody needs a little step up and if I can help provide that opportunity so they can get their name out there or sell something that’s great,” she said.

Book clubs, Bible study groups, crafters and many other groups already hold regular meetings at the coffee shop and Goddard says she is willing to work with folks to keep the doors open after hours if needed.

Interacting with customers and helping them make connections in the community is something that Goddard, a Central Kitsap High School graduate, especially likes about the coffee shop business.

“I like that they can have a place to come and meet and get together,” she said of her wide array of customers. “I’m a big networker. I know a lot of different people in the area because I’ve lived here for so long. There’s always somebody that needs something and you can put them in touch with somebody else and pass them along to get them connected. So, what better place?”

Goddard says the only tough part of running a coffee shop businesses is being on her feet all day atop cement floors. Apart from that, there’s a lot of upsides.

“It’s not hard,” she said. “It’s a pleasure. I can be honest, I love it. I look forward to coming in. It’s mine. So, if it fails, it’s my fault. It’s my doing. And if it succeeds, then I have something to do with that, too. And the girls here are wonderful to work with.”

Outside of work, Goddard is a season ticket holder to the Seattle Seahawks and she says that going kayaking for the first time in her life sometime this year is at the top of her “to-do” list.

She’s also very passionate about juvenile diabetes and hopes that she can use her shop to help drum up support for that cause.

Cafe Noir is located at 3261 NW Mt. Vintage Way, just a few blocks north of the YMCA on NW Randall Way.

Those that would like to reserve space at the coffee shop or have other questions can reach Goddard or her staff by calling 360-698-4111.

 

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