March 30, 2022
I come from a background of Culinary Management and have worked in the food service industry for 14 years. I have many family members who work in the service industry, so I like to tell people that hospitality runs in my blood.
Prior to moving here, I was living in Western Pennsylvania and working at an alternative school serving food to students. My Aunt Lisa owns Cafe 64 and I have family in this area, so I would visit Maine a lot growing up.
When my Uncle Bob passed away, I wanted to move to Maine and be there for my Aunt Lisa. At the time, my place of employment was laying people off due to the pandemic, so although I was sad to see that chapter of my life come to an end, I knew I was ready to try something different.
I have the skills and expertise to manage a business, and I know moving here and helping run the business has taken some of her stress away. I’m happy to be here and give her a chance to take a break and forget about stuff for a while.
Being here in Maine and managing this business is wonderful because I get to engage people in conversation for a living. I work really hard to build close relationships with my customers, because it’s important to know everyone’s names and orders. I want people to feel welcomed and special when they come here.
We offer all kinds of good things here — coffee, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, you name it. We also have plans to expand our menu for the summer, because as pandemic restrictions loosen, things are definitely going to get a whole lot busier.
I plan to be here long-term, because Maine is just a great place to be and I’ve always felt that way. I look forward to spending my time here each day. In the future, we hope to be open later, have open mics nights and maybe get a license to sell craft beer.
All of those initiatives, while now currently in the works, are part of a long-term plan to continue our business growth. For now, we’ll keep doing what we do best — providing quality service and quality food to our customers.
I’ve never run a cafe, so it’s certainly been a learning process, but I’ve been able to accomplish it relatively easily. Owning a business is all about constantly changing with the times and trying every day to be better than the day before. And I’m happy to be a part of that process.
— Benjamin Leverknight, Manager at Cafe 64