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Geneva coffee shop thriving amidst pandemic

Graceful Rays Coffee Shop in Geneva opened for business just 10 days after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Alabama.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Small businesses across the state took a hard hit in 2020 due to COVID-19. Many were forced to close their doors for good. However, one coffee shop in Geneva persevered and is celebrating their one year anniversary, even after opening right at the start of one of the darkest times for a small businesses.

“We’ve always wanted to have a coffee shop and it’s just always been a dream of ours,” Izabella Lachance, owner of Graceful Rays Coffee, said.

Lachance and her mother, Tiffany Halley, are living that dream. A mother daughter duo taking on the coffee demand in Geneva. The family moved to the area from Oak Grove, California about three years ago and opened their doors shortly after Lachance graduated high school.

“Coffee shops are a huge thing back there and when we moved here there really wasn’t a coffee shop in town,” Lachance said.

Graceful Rays Coffee Shop in Geneva opened for business just 10 days after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Alabama. Not knowing what was in store for the year ahead, this week they celebrate their one year anniversary.

One of the biggest challenges they said they had to overcome, missing out on fellowship with customers. The coffee shop was forced to quickly adapt to curbside service and to go orders only, just as other businesses in the state.

“Through the grace of God we were able to overcome all of those challenges and it’s been amazing and all of the feedback we’ve had from the community has been positive and we’re really encouraged by it,” Halley said.

The shop strived to be there for the community during the pandemic, while the community was also there for them.

“They just wanted to support us and they didn’t want us to go out of business or anything, which they really have show us love, so that’s how we have been able to survive,” Lachance said.

The family-owned business sits at the front room of The Crossing Church.

“It’s more than just a business, it’s a ministry,” Halley said. “You know, we want to show the love of god to anyone that comes in.”

On Sundays, all proceeds goes to the church’s youth group.

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