A new coffee and frozen yogurt shop on the corner of Seventh and Roosevelt streets hopes to provide fast service and high-quality products to commuters, students and community members.
Red Hut Coffee is scheduled to open Saturday, co-owner David Marsh said.
Marsh owns Red Hut with his wife, Gayle. He said they originally had the idea for the coffee shop when they moved to Arizona in 2006.
“We love coffee,” Marsh said. “We’ve been to a million coffee shops. Our expectation was to come to Phoenix and find good coffee, but we found that it was hard to find good coffee.”
Although it took several years for the idea to come to fruition, Marsh said they are excited for the shop’s future.
“This is the first coffee shop we’ve ever owned, but we’ve owned many businesses,” Marsh said. “We are looking to expand Red Hut. It will be more than one location.”
The shop was originally conceived as a drive-thru coffee shop. Red Hut’s first location does not have a drive-thru, so Marsh said they will offer drive-up service instead.
“When we moved to Phoenix, we couldn’t find a drive-thru coffee place,” Marsh said. “So we found that there was a business niche. As we continue to grow, we’ll continue with the drive-thru theme.”
Marsh said this will benefit commuters the most, especially those coming off the highways.
Red Hut is farther away from the Downtown campus than other student favorites like Songbird Coffee and Tea House and Fair Trade Cafe. Some students said this would deter them from going there unless they were already in the area.
“That’s pretty far from campus,” journalism freshman Katy Burge said. “But I guess I might check it out, it sounds interesting.”
However, criminal justice freshman Amalia Holguin said Red Hut Coffee was pretty close. She and several other students said they would visit the shop more for the frozen yogurt than the coffee.
“I don’t really hang out in coffee shops with my friends,” Holguin said. “But we might go and get frozen yogurt.”
Jobot Coffee and Dining and Melt owner John Sagasta said he is not worried about competition between the other downtown coffee shops and Red Hut, because they each cater to a specific clientele.
However, he said it is a lot harder to sustain a coffee shop or other small business than most people think.
“I’ve just seen so many coffee shops come and go,” Sagasta said. “And I think it was poor market research on their part — there’s a billion coffee shops between here and Central. (That corner) is not the place I’d put another.”
Marsh said Red Hut’s signature offering will be a daily special flavored latte that will be $3 for a 12 oz. hot or 16 oz. iced. They will also offer drinks including iced toddy, iced tea, smoothies and espresso. A small hot coffee will cost $1.75.
The frozen yogurt will be self-serve, Marsh said. Red Hut will have pomegranate raspberry, Dutch vanilla, classic chocolate and cake batter as flavors to start, along with toppings.
The menu board and other finishing touches on the shop’s decor will arrive Friday, Marsh said. They plan to have all staff trained by Sept. 6 for the First Fridays artwalk.
Red Hut will be open from 5 a.m. to about 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to about 8 p.m. on weekends, Marsh said. Their closing time will be flexible, depending on customer demand.
Marsh said Red Hut will have an official grand opening later in the year when the new Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches shop next door is completed. Their shared building previously held a Quiznos sandwich shop and a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts location.
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