The date was Dec. 11, 2016. Kelsey Parrish knows that date very well. It was the date she and her husband Matt took the “coffee” plunge and set about bringing great coffee and a great place to meet to DeSoto County.
It has become a central place in a central part of the county, which makes the name “Coffee Central” all the more appropriate.
Parrish said she and her husband saw a business void in the Snowden Grove area of Southaven they felt needed to be filled. So they set about doing that.
“We had gone out of town to a coffee shop and we thought we really needed something like this close to us,” Parrish said. “One day he was out running without me and he walked up here and saw this space was available. Everything just kind of happened by the grace of God and it came together.”
Parrish said Coffee Central is a completely “local” business, from the ownership and employees to the brews and tasty food items that come with it.
She said that helps them as a business and helps their suppliers, as well.
“The coffee that we use is J Brooks and they’re out of Memphis, so they are local,” said Parrish, who managed City Hall Cheesecake in Collierville before starting this venture. “We get our cheesecakes from City Hall Cheesecake in Hernando and the Brown Baguette (Bakery in Southaven) does all of our pastries.”
Something else that is important for Kelsey and Matt is that Coffee Central is more than just a grab-and-go coffee shop. They focus on providing a place to stop in and set awhile.
“We wanted a space where people could come and meet new people and feel comfortable and it’s been great,” said Parrish. “We don’t have a drive-thru because we want people to come and we want that personal one-on-one contact with the customers. We want them to feel like they are our friends and our family.”
Even the location was intentional, as the Parrishes wanted to be close to the clientele in the next block at DeSoto Central High School and neighboring middle and elementary schools.
“Kids can walk over, get coffee, have a hangout spot after school, so that’s why we chose this bay versus one further down Getwell,” she said. “Mornings can get crazy with teachers, kids and the school traffic that come in. Throughout the day we have our regulars that come and go.”
One part of the shop may be familiar to those who frequented the old Cotton Bowl Lanes on Highway 51 near Stateline Road. Kelsey said the tables are made from the old bowling lanes.
“We go to Southpoint Church and they donated these to us,” Kelsey said. “My father-in-law and husband made them into tables. They built everything in here and I helped. I told them what I wanted done and they did it.”
The Parrishes have also supported mission efforts and the faith-based group, R3 The Movement, which works to stop sex and human trafficking, through events held in their business.
Coffee Central is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays, although closing time may vary, depending on who’s left in the shop.
You can find Coffee Central on social media, including Facebook and Instagram and its website, www.coffeecentral.cc. The phone number is 662-510-5397.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.