A vintage Augusta home has been transformed into Kate’s Coffee House, at 5525 Walnut St.
The business, owned by Randal and Marj Oaks, was named after Randal Oaks’ mother.
“We felt that there was a need for such an establishment in Augusta,” Randal Oaks said.
The couple recently purchased two buildings on half a block of property, named Oaks Crossing. They knew they wanted to use a portion of the space for a coffeehouse. On the other end is a conference center for small group events.
In addition to coffee, the shop offers espresso drinks, chai tea, hot chocolate and smoothies. It also has quiche, sandwiches, soups, salads and soon will have “Elmer’s hand-dipped ice cream,” Oaks said.
Elmer was Marj Oaks’ father, who served in World War II. His discharge papers listed his occupation as an ice cream maker.
Elmer was in the hospital in Japan when someone asked if anyone knew how to fix an old ice cream machine, Randal Oaks said. Elmer said he did and continued making ice cream for the remainder of his tour.
He later admitted to family that at first, he knew nothing about making ice cream.
Randal Oaks said incorporating family members’ names into the shop is just a small way to honor them.
“If you have the opportunity to honor them, you absolutely should,” he said. “It adds dimension to what we’re doing.”
Several parts of the coffeehouse are made from repurposed materials. The paneling in the parlor is made from church pews from the old Femme Osage UCC Church, and a string board from a piano once in the Ebeneezer UCC Church in Augusta also adorns the shop’s wall.
One of the room dividers is created from columns taken from a home Randal Oaks grew up in located in northern Alabama.
There are indoor and outdoor seating areas, and five fountains on the property.
“Our goal is to have a quality place where people can come to sit and relax, enjoy and experience the uniqueness of Augusta,” said Randal Oaks, adding that locals and visitors will feel as they have experienced “small town USA.”
Alongside the entry to the coffeehouse is a carriage house, complete with a car made by Oaks. The car’s permanent home is now in the carriage house.
Hours for Kate’s Coffee House are Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.