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Dawn of a New Day Coffee House

"As a young girl, I experienced Downtown in all its glory with my mom and Grandma. It wasn’t a scary place to us—it was a great place.

So years ago, when I drove through and couldn’t find a place to have a cup of coffee or meet a friend, I kept thinking, 'Why isn’t someone doing something'?

And that old quote kept playing in my head, 'If not you, who? If not now, when?'

We opened our doors in the old Bearinger Building in 2005. They always say, ‘location, location, location’. If someone looked at my business model years ago, they would have said, 'Lady, what are you doing?!'

At the time, we were able to use the space for musicians and artists—that was part of the dream, to give a start to other creative folks and to bring people Downtown. Some Friday nights, I’d have about a hundred kids lined up. A lot of people and a lot of bands got their start back in the Behringer Building, back in the day. We were there until 2009, when we moved to our current location on Washington.

I opened the coffee shop on Linsey’s 16th birthday. The metaphor was there. She had her driver’s license and could go off on her own and I wanted that for her. I still tell her periodically, 'If this is not what you want to do, go do what you want to do'. And she has gone out and done other things. She always knows that door is open for her, to go out and do things. To leave and come back. I want her to fulfill herself on every level that she wants. I’m grateful she’s here.

The people of this town are so resilient. That was part of the reason I came into the Downtown area. I had relationships throughout my work career in the nonprofit sector before I opened the coffee shop. I trusted and was faith-filled that people would give back—and they did.

We’ve brought people together over a conscious cup of coffee for many years. We’ve made a lot of relationships, a lot of connections. I’ve been part of a lot of journeys, and that’s a great payback. The payback is the relationships, the connections, the emotional health that I’ve gotten out of this place over the years. It hasn’t always been the financial reward, but it’s been the emotional reward. It’s been worth it. Someone said, 'If you only knew the conniving and thriving that went on at Dawn of a New Day', and that makes me proud."

- Dawn Goodrow Hillier, Dawn of New Day Coffee Shop

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