Partners brew up a successful business

What began as a simple way to honor a deceased family member has grown into a booming business, much to the surprise of Teresa Godfrey.

Godfrey owns and operates Mama Java Cafe, an espresso shop right off the pier in Manchester, serving fresh coffee and homemade German pasties throughout the day.

“It’s real different — it’s not like a business,” Godfrey said. “You really have to come in and hang out to really see what it’s like.”

Godfrey dropped out of college after the death of her mother, Darliene Godfrey, and decided to do something to honor her memory.

“She needs to be respected,” Godfrey said. “So I quit school, grabbed whatever money I had in the bank and started my own business. And this business is for her.”

Godfrey rented a small space in a Manchester deli before coming full circle and encompassing the entire east end of downtown Manchester.

“I closed down for about two months and remodeled the whole place,” Godfrey said. “And I’ve been very successful ever since.”

Godfrey called in a partner to help, Sandra Reichstetter, and the two established Mama Java in its current state about six months ago.

“It’s been a blast,” Godfrey said. “We have local artists bring their art work in to display. We have poetry readings and whatnot. Sometimes we have local come in that wants to play the guitar.

“This place is everybody’s,” Godfrey said. “I tell my employees that I’m not their boss. We all have jobs to do here, we’re all equal. This is a family place, let’s make sure we have fun.”

Godfrey, who commutes from Seattle each day, handles the coffee and customer service side while Reichstetter, who is from Germany, creates original German and Bavarian pasties and soup each day.

The menu includes traditional espresso and latte drinks with a few special recipes while Reichstetter changes soups daily and juggles the style and flavor of her strudels and other pastries for customers to sample while checking out the fantastic view of downtown Seattle across the Sound.

Godfrey also helped out with the RAPsody ride two weeks ago, suppling snacks and coffee to the crews that help set up and run the 155-mile bike ride.

And while she has no plans to expand her current menu, she and her two part-time employees are open to serving lunches for certain, special occasions.

“I like it just like this,” Godfrey said. “I don’t want it any bigger, this is how I like it.

“I set the bar and I really stay there as far as making every customer really happy,” Godfrey said. “That’s our goal here. All of my employees, we’re like family. “

Mama Java is open daily at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. on weekends. The shop shuts down at 5 p.m. daily.

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