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The Fountain Coffee Blog Post September 16, 2020

I have officially closed The Fountain Coffee and Ice Cream business.  There were several factors that came into play, but mostly it seemed the reasonable path forward. 

I had upgraded the interior to fully functioning equipment, Risk 1-kitchen, plumbing, electrical, 50 gallon electric water heater, sewer and ADA restroom to the current 2018 IEBC code.  I was able to sell the building to recoup all that I had put into it, except my heart and soul.  I really wanted to serve this community and encourage others to pursue their dreams.  I had planned to be around a long time and grow this business.  It wasn’t meant to be.  A wonderful bakery opened down the street offering fresh pastries, hot coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cold drinks.  They are family owned and doing it right, what I had hoped to grow into.  They were able to open for more hours (6 am to 6 pm daily) and offer fresh baked goods made right on the premises!  No seating yet, but I have even patronized them for my coffee and donuts needs.  I did not want to compete with them (how could I) and encourage you to visit Beardall’s Bakery at 8963 W. Magna Main.

At the same time a person came to me interested in buying my place due to the totally upgraded interior, functioning kitchen and ADA restroom availability, yet loved the old character of the 1924 building.  She wanted to open a daycare facility.  She has been managing a daycare (90+ kids) in WVC for over 8 years and was ready to downsize.  If you noticed all the construction of new homes and apartments in Magna recently, a daycare for all the young families moving in would be a real asset for the community.

With this in mind, I sold my building, knowing I was still serving the community in my small way, by making room for the new people coming in.

Blessings to you all.  I hope we keep this sense of community as we watch Magna grow.

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The Fountain Update

The Fountain will continue to be closed. Sorry to all my friends. In light of the medical advice for this novel corona virus and increased exposure rates I will remain closed. I was trying to figure out how to safely serve my customers with social distancing, limited customer count, no-contact service, etc.
I intended to fill and serve the fresh ground coffee in to-go cups (no more ceramic mugs or self-serve, or relaxing to the sound of water).
Since the building was already closed, it will remain so. I had planned to make a few updates anyway. This way I won’t inconvenience the customers with construction dust and noise.
If Fridays are nice weather, I will be handing out free coffee for limited hours outside the front door. Between this COVID-19 and our earthquake on March 18 we have all struggled. Come by and say Hello and enjoy a cup to-go. You deserve it!

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Blog April 9, 2010 – Magna Earthquake March 18. 2020

 ITried
Magna Earthquake March 18. 2020
I wasn’t here. When I was told about the 5.7 earthquake centered in Magna, from growing up in California, I knew that was a good shaker, but not structure leveling or cracks in the earth to swallow you up. From what I heard no one was hurt by falling objects. I did know there would be aftershocks. Most are usually less than the first big one.
As many of you know, my shop was already closed. I went to help my parents move back into their house after having some construction done. It was also my Dad’s 96th birthday. In the meantime, the COVID-19 hit. After visiting with them for a week at an assisted-living facility, I was kicked out. Protocol prevented any family members from coming into the facility. Since I couldn’t visit them and it was unknown how long this protocol would last, I decided to stay and help organize their house for their return. The airlines were very helpful in waiving the flight change fees. After 2 weeks, with no definite end to this COVID-19 pandemic (and I was missing my husband), I decided to return to Magna until such time it is safe for my parents to return to their house and I could help them.
I asked my husband to check our house and our shop on Magna Main Street on the day of the earthquake. He was pretty shaken, pun intended. Other than some breakage from things falling and a sticky mess from some of my syrup flavor bottles tipping over, everything looked fine, thank God.
He took lots of pictures of our shop, closed and locked the door. He left everything ‘as is’. Apparently the County quickly went through and placed yellow and red tags on all the buildings along Historic Magna Main Street. Our space was inspected by a general contractor who was familiar with our site before and after the earthquake. When we weren’t sure if a crack was new or old, we compared it to pictures we had taken prior to the earthquake. Only one superficial new crack was found on the inside west wall near the top through the old plaster. We reported as such. My husband followed instructions on-line and the contractor had the report submitted to the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Service District Chief Building Official Panning and Development Services.
That was two weeks ago. With some back and forth with the MSD, as of this date, it is still unknown when our building will be ‘green’ tagged for occupancy. Because of this COVID-19 we cannot let customers in the building anyway. This is also unknown when it will be safe to open business as usual again.
Since I had already given my pre-packaged snacks to Magna Facts (a couple doors down), it left only my whole bean coffees in the shop. Since the brewer and grinder still worked, I thought I could provide hot coffee curbside to the community.
I checked with the County Health Department about curbside service. I was planning to wear gloves and a mask. I would use only to-go cups with lids and baggies for creamer, sugar, napkin and stirrer. They required a second person to handle the money or exact change in a jar would be acceptable.
Since I was running into so many conditions and already closed, had minimized my overhead and had no employees for the required second person, I decided to provide free coffee curbside until the supplies run out. Even if the buildings were ‘green’ tagged tomorrow, customers still couldn’t enter.
Social distancing protocol would be required. I would wear gloves and a mask. People could not hang out, to-go only. I would have limited morning hours (for commuters and those still working and our wonderful dog walkers).
It is the best I can do for this community that I call home.
Hang in there.
April 9, 2020 12:30 and 2:34 pm
OMG, now we just got the BOIL WATER order from the Magna Water District. I just got a message from both the Magna Chamber and the County Health Department!
Somebody is trying to tell me not to open!  Until further notice everybody take care.
Below are some pictures from the interior showing some broken/fallen things. In reality, I was more impressed by what didn’t fall or break.

 

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The Fountain February 2020 2nd post

Opened Shop October 14, 2019-soft opening to get used to running business, customer suggestions and proper ‘flow’ for efficiency. Early customers noticed I kept moving things around to try to make it more convenient and ‘flow’ better for them. Opened right before Halloween.  Early pics below.


Grand Opening Nov 15 & 16 with ribbon cutting by the Magna Chamber of Commerce, face painting, and singing by J. Nelson.  Pictures below.

Created Art wall to showcase local artists and patrons to enjoy.

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The Fountain Plan Intro February, 2020 First Blog Post

I opened The Fountain Coffee and Ice Cream House October 14, 2019. I thought you might be interested in (or curious about) the steps involved to open a business on Magna Main Street and specifically the steps I went through to get it opened.

In the beginning
Attached is a picture of the building when I first thought about buying it. Of course, you have to find a building for sale. Nov 2018

It helps to do some homework. What have other building sold for? What is the square footage? What utilities are available and where in the building (especially plumbing, gas and electricity needs)? These buildings are old, so what condition is the building. Many were built early in the 1900’s. Mine was built 1924. This was before building codes (1987) so you might find some unusual stuff

Decisions
Jan 2019
Once I procured the building, I had to decide what to do with it. I am retired, so I didn’t want a high maintenance business (KISS) and to build a comfortable place with a sense of community. I bought some time to decide and plan by leasing back the building to the previous owner. They were building their own custom home and workshop and it wasn’t ready yet. I knew construction always takes longer than you plan. I looked around the neighborhood and decided on a coffee and ice cream shop that would bring people together. I visited more than a dozen coffee shops around the SL valley and asked a lot of questions to get ideas to figure out what I wanted to do and what was possible. I created a rough budget to be sure I could afford it or needed to take out a loan. (Double whatever you come up with) I looked up business plans and ‘How to start a small business’ on-line to help. There was a surprise expense for sewer replacement in March 2019 while I was leasing back the building. Pictures below.

Health Department
May 2019
Once I decided on the coffee and ice cream shop, I contacted the SL County Health Department to determine the equipment I needed. Coffee and ice cream are considered food, so I came under ‘restaurant-specialty food’ for my plan review, inspections and application (money and inspections). This required the addition of a three compartment sink, hand wash stations, 50 gallon water heater and a mop sink. All this required plumbing to be added, along with coffee brewing equipment, filters and a coffee bean grinder I also wanted to add a water and ice machine (with filters) which required more plumbing and electrical work. The brewer also had a hot water dispenser so I could provide a variety of teas. The Health Department approved the plan review for Risk 1 (they will determine the risk level for you and charge accordingly). Below are pictures of potential kitchen area, wall and ceiling.

Building Plan and permit 7/2-7/31
Once I knew the needs of the Health Department, I applied for a SL County Plan Review (money and inspections). I knew the SL County would require an ADA restroom, so I added that to my plans before I was asked (more plumbing and electrical.) Since I wasn’t changing the structure of this old, beautiful building (built 1924), I drew the construction plans myself on Excel. I was trying to keep the plans simple (remember KISS). More elaborate plans may need professional help. I contacted licensed handymen, licensed plumbers and licensed electricians. Delays caused several licensed plumbers and electricians to drop out and/or not return my calls since I couldn’t give them a specific date of work. They can’t wait on things, especially during their busy season. They need firm schedules for their jobs. I think I went through six or seven plumbers and electricians, so be aware. After going back and forth with the county on my plan review and answering questions at the end they mentioned I needed a general contractor with the permit before they would approve my plans. Luckily I knew a general contractor and he already had a PIN with SL County. He was also going to use the same licensed people I had already contacted (more money). Once the general was added, they approved my plan, stamped all my submittals after about a month (did I mention all permitting is now done on-line?) and more money. I could start the remodeling. Pictures are at back restroom and front area of building.

Interim 7/2-7/31 waiting for building permit
While we were waiting for plan approval and the building permit I did some things that didn’t require a permit, such as sanding, staining and coating the original wood floor. We also sealed the exposed original brick wall. I liked the ambiance of the original structure and tried to keep it as much as possible and still meet the building/health department code requirements. Rough plumbing and SL County inspection took about 1 week (no inspections on Fridays and no weekends).

Rough Plumbing
To progress the plumbing, we pulled up the floor boards along the east wall and dug 2-4 ft. deep for about 50 ft. along the east wall for the new sewer line to be installed. I procured a plumber at the last minute and paid premium to get it done. This rough plumbing was holding up everything else so it was worth it. They were grateful that we had dug for them. I relied on my handyman to help them for placing pipe. I was grateful they were patient and waited 3 days for the SL County inspector and performed the testing required.
Pics of indoor plumbing dirt piles and boards replaced

 

Progress August 2019
Once the rough plumbing was inspected and approved (8/13-8/14), then things could progress rapidly with the remodel. The next challenge was the ADA restroom framing and fixtures, installation of a 50 gallon water heater (min size required by SLCoHD) and all hot and cold water lines run for sinks, toilets, etc. All restrooms, sinks and fixtures had to be over a hard cleanable floor (I chose tile) and walls had to be hard and cleanable (FRP sheeting) or epoxy paint.
Pics of shop with ADA frame & water heater

Frustration and Encouragement
About now it seemed like I would never get this project done and open to the public. I was getting pretty frustrated and I apologize if I took it out on you. I also appreciate everyone that came by and encouraged me to persevere. I received the chairs, tables and started staging items to go up front, just to keep my vision of a coffee shop going. It was starting to take shape, even if there was still a lot to do.

Electrician
As I said it was hard to get licensed electricians to commit, because of scheduling. You can’t expect (or afford) them to wait around. As I got close to being ready, I was able to contract a license electrician. In two days all work was done. It helped to know exactly where I wanted conduit run and outlets added. The electrician also needed to know amperage of all equipment to size wire, conduit and breakers properly. We should be ready for the final building inspection to approve the electrical and water lines to close the building permit.
Failed Inspection
September 2019
Inspector found a few things to reject. He also got into some finish plumbing requirements, which were included in his inspection. We agreed to all. We will have him come back next week to ok all requests and hopefully close the building permit. More time and money and another delay in opening. I was hoping to open in August..
Re-inspection 4 days later (never count weekends) partial approval-allowed to close up drywall and paint
Pictures of front outside, inside, finished ADA restroom and kitchen.

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