Diana Vesely reopened Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop on Wednesday under her ownership. Vesely said she intends to keep the coffee shop virtually unchanged, but she wants to grow the bakery portion of the business.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Diana Vesely reopened Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop on Wednesday under her ownership. Vesely said she intends to keep the coffee shop virtually unchanged, but she wants to grow the bakery portion of the business.

Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop opens with new ownership

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For Diana Vesely, the new owner of Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop, serving food runs in the family.

Her great-grandfather ran a restaurant in Arkansas, and her son, Daniel, is a cook in the U.S. Army.

Vesely has previous experience with food, having worked at City Market for 18 years, including time in the bakery.

And baking will be a central part of Vesely's business plan.

Serendipity reopened Wednesday after being closed for more than a week. Vesely purchased the business from Katrina Springer, who left the coffee shop after two and a half years to return to substitute teaching.

The inside of the shop, and most of the staff, remain unchanged.

"We want to expand our cakes - have wedding and other specialty cakes," she said. "We have the same baker, Cassie (Dilldine), and we really wanted to keep her because she's an asset. She's gathered something of a following."

Vesely said because her four children are older, it gives her time to try out the restaurant business. Her daughter, Angela, works as a barista at the shop. Keeping the family involved is one thing Vesely would like to see.

"I'd like to see an increase in business, too," she said laughing. "But I think I would like to see it become more of a family business, and I want to be well-known for our pastries and cakes."

Angela Vesely said she was ready for Serendipity's opening Wednesday.

"I'm excited about it, because she's excited about it," said Angela Vesely, who spent her first day at Serendipity running errands. "It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm excited about it."

Angela Vesely said the first day went well, and turnout was better than expected.

"A lot of people didn't even know we were open - it was just from word of mouth," she said. "But we still had a large crowd, and we heard that Wednesdays are usually pretty slow."

Although there aren't any large changes for the shop, there will be a number of small tweaks, Vesely said.

"We'll be open later, and in a couple of weeks, we'll have ice cream," she said. "Ice cream will be the biggest change. We want to focus on that in a little bit, and we'll be getting our cooler soon."

In addition to staying open to 8 p.m. and serving ice cream, Vesely said Serendipity might open a salad bar, and the bakery will put more emphasis on cakes.

But most everything else will remain the same.

"I saw it was up for sale and decided that I would give it a try," she said. "It's the same lunch menu, then soup and sandwiches for dinner. It will still be the place to get coffee and dessert."

Vesely said she also would like the coffee shop to become more like a past restaurant that occupied the space on Yampa Avenue.

"This place used to be the Banana Boat, and when my kids were growing up, we would come here and have dinner or ice cream," she said. "And that's something Craig has been missing.

"We want a place where you can bring your kids or grandkids and have dinner or some ice cream."

Being connected to the community is important to Vesely.

"I get to meet different people every day," she said. "A lot of the people who come in I've seen before, but I haven't really had a chance to get to know them.

"Now, they can come in, relax, slow down and not feel rushed."

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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