With 24 years of experience working at the Daily Grind between them, Liz Anderson and Rebecca Wildi have fulfilled a dream by buying the local coffee house.
"The original owner sold it about a year ago, and both Rebecca and I continued to work here," Anderson said. "We felt like we could do a great job running it, and really have a passion for this place. So we approached the new owner offering to buy it, and she agreed to sell. We closed on it this past September 1."
Anderson began working at the Daily Grind 13 years ago when it first opened.
"I had been a homemaker up until that point," she said. "I came to work here, and never left."
Anderson is primarily responsible for food preparation, and Wildi can be found out front serving customers. Wildi starting working at the coffee house 11 years ago as a freshman at Georgia Southern University.
"I worked here all of the way through college, and just continued to do so after graduation," she said. "I have a B.S. in geography which really doesn't tie into this, but I love it, and am so glad that we were able to buy the business."
The Grind, as it is lovingly referred to by its loyal customers, was the first in a string of coffee houses to open in Statesboro over the last several years. It is the only locally owned coffee house remaining open at this time.
"Of course, there are national chains here," Anderson said. "But, as far as I know, we are the only local one left. There have been three or so that have opened since we did, but they haven't lasted. We try not to worry about that, and just continue to do what we know how to do."
Peggy Herrington has been eating lunch at the Grind on Mondays for the last several years.
"We have a group of ladies that meets here for lunch each week," she said. "The chicken salad is just wonderful, and the atmosphere is great. We sit and chat, and thoroughly enjoy each other's company and being here. The food is really, really good."
Anderson prides herself on her food preparation in a very limited space.
"You wouldn't believe what you can do with a toaster, a microwave, and a Fry Daddy," she said. "I am very proud of the food here. Everything is fresh, and homemade each day. My day begins by going to the store and getting the ingredients that we will need that day for lunch. Nothing is pre-packaged."
Vicki Hill is the owner of H. W. Smith Jewelers in downtown Statesboro. She orders lunch from the Daily Grind several times a week.
"It really is very fresh and good, as well as convenient," she said. "I am sure that they will do a great job, and am excited for both of them."
Anderson said even though the Grind is a coffee house, and not a bar, she feels like it has an atmosphere similar to Cheers, the bar in the 1980's sitcom of the same name.
"We have quite a few loyal customers that come in here every, single day," she said. "It really is like we are a family, and we say hi to one another, and are glad to see each other. That is what Rebecca and I love about this place."
Wildi also starts her day very early, arriving a 6:30 a.m. to get preparations underway.
"While Liz is picking up the ingredients for lunch, I'm making coffee," she said. "We both knock off after the lunch shift, and work on the business end. We have three other employees that work here, taking care of the business in the afternoons and evenings. We are hoping to expand our food service at some point. Right now we do not prepare meals for breakfast or for dinner."