Energetic Blawnox entrepreneur gives all to coffee shop
Kylee Clements has a springy step and an energetic mind.
Just a handful of years ago, Kylee graduated from college and seven days later took over Curbside Coffee in Blawnox.
“I had no idea of what was in my mind. It evolved and grew into what it is today,” Kylee says.
The biggest change is the coffee shop now does about 85 percent of its sales in food.
“Everything is prepared with thought. I wouldn't serve anything I wouldn't eat myself,” she says.
Starting early for the 6 a.m. opening, the Curbside team cooks and bakes all day. Sometimes invention is by chance, such as when they added cayenne pepper to eggs.
But, Kylee searches through recipes for healthful alternatives too, such as blueberry or rhubarb buckle.
Come summer, Curbside will offer zucchini and other summer fruits, some fresh from her Fox Chapel garden.
This past winter the store was renovated. The orange and bold yellow walls bloomed over blue and green. Part of the floor was given over to kitchen space.
“We got new ‘official' equipment,” Kylee said.
The convection oven, meat slicer, and a new cook top have been added.
“I like what we're doing and I'll still like it (in 10 years) if it keeps blossoming like it has,” she says.
While the coffee shop has developed into a cafe, something the owner never anticipated, her business is exactly what she anticipated.
Kylee, who grew up in Lower Burrell, attended Duquesne University and majored in entrepreneurship and marketing. At first she wanted to find a coffee shop in the city, but then found the store in Blawnox.
“There's a lot of local support,” Kylee says.
Kylee finishes her day usually by returning to the kitchen to cook dinner for herself and her husband, Kristopher.
“I'll never franchise. As my mom says, ‘You can't duplicate Kylee.' It's a mix of a lot of good things — a secret sauce.”
Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.