New Albany resident plans to open Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea in Hamilton Quarter
Although its opening has been stalled, the Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea cafe is expected to begin operating in late November at 5780 N. Hamilton Road in the Hamilton Quarter mixed-use development in Columbus, just west of New Albany's city limits.
Owner John Noel, a New Albany resident, said both weather and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have delayed the opening from its original date in May. He said he is working on the opening date and is leaning toward a soft opening before Thanksgiving or an opening the weekend after the holiday.
Noel said the cafe would be a family venture, with help from his wife, Sandra, and son, Tyler Ritchie, 22. He said the cafe would feature a drive-thru and a patio and would employ 20 to 25 part-time and seasonal staff members.
A looming job relocation was the impetus for Noel to try his hand at food service.
He had worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. for more than 20 years and then was notified his job was going to be relocated to Delaware, Noel said.
Instead of moving out of state, he decided to open Sweetwaters because he liked the chain's products.
The franchise location also is close to home, he said.
Sandra Noel, who also has a job in the financial-planning industry, said Hamilton Quarter is a rapidly developing area, with plenty of of attractions and foot traffic. Sweetwaters' spot holds "just a lot of opportunity for us to meet a lot of people and provide a lot of service for the people in that area," she said.
New Albany residents and visitors always are looking for more restaurant, shopping and entertainment choices, said Cherie Nelson, executive director of the New Albany Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber embraces its new neighbor businesses at Hamilton Quarter because of the quality offerings that are nearby and convenient to New Albany residents, she said.
"They had me at pastries, but I'm particularly impressed with Sweetwaters' commitment to being involved in the community," Nelson said. "We support restaurants and small businesses now more than ever and are super excited to welcome Sweetwaters to the New Albany Chamber of Commerce."