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From staff reports
The owner of the Pizza Ranch in Lennox has turned an unused area at the restaurant into a coffee shop, Philter 4:8.
“I had a garage that was just a waste of space, so I asked myself, ‘What can I do with it to make it make money,” Michael Tolliver said.
His work background includes six years of experience at Starbucks and another coffee shop, so he decided to fill a need in the town.
“It has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said of the community’s support. “They love having a coffee shop in town.”
“We’re seeing lots of activity in there,” said Amanda Anglin, city administrator. “After school, the kids go in there to hang out.”
Tolliver did the remodeling work himself and found the restaurant equipment at auctions.
“I paid one-tenth of what you would pay,” he said.
Philter 4:8, which is downtown just off of Main Street, opened March 20. The coffee beans come from Coffea Roasterie. Tolliver said he’s focusing on quality for the shop’s ingredients. He uses Ghiradelli chocolates and sauces and a premium version for most of the Torani flavored syrups.
The coffee shop will add soft-serve ice cream once an electrician hooks up power to the machine. Tolliver plans to buy a vanilla mix and also serve chocolate ice cream that will be made with Ghirardelli Chocolate.
In the past week, he started serving breakfast sandwiches, and following the lesson from McDonald’s, they’re available all day. He’ll add muffins and quick breads, and plans to offer paninis, other sandwiches and soup for lunch.
“We’ll probably have five or six items on the lunch menu with weekly specials,” Tolliver said.
He said he has an ample supply of chicken because of the Pizza Ranch and plans to serve a pulled chicken sandwich that comes with a barbecue, buffalo or sesame sauce.
Tolliver and his wife home school their children and that’s where the business name originated. They use Philippians 4:8 to teach their children to filter their actions through that verse: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
And that’s why the tagline for the business is Espresso & Other Excellent Things.
Tolliver plans to keep the coffee shop open later once the ice cream is added to the menu, but for now the hours are 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays. Philter 4:8 is closed Sundays.
The owner of the Lennox Pizza Ranch took unused space in the building that houses the restaurant and opened a coffee shop.