After working in the laboratory for 14 years, I felt an urge to do something new. I talked with my brother Bill about my passion to start a business of my own. He simply said, “Just do it.” That little nudge was all I needed. I took a class in small business management and started down an exciting new path in fine coffees, teas and gifts. In August 1989, I opened the doors of Ann Marie's and welcomed my first customer.
Every day was a new adventure. As my fledgling business grew, I learned so much about growing, buying, roasting, brewing and tasting coffee. I experimented with new products such as home-baked scones and specialty foods. I loved picking wild blackberries on my way to work and baking them into our fresh morning scones. Customers became friends, introduced us to their friends, and all became members of our expanding “Ann Marie family”. In the 1990's, we shifted the emphasis of Ann Marie's from a coffee house to focus on coffee roasting and importing pottery and European-inspired gifts. My web business began and what grew to be today's annmarie.com.
Growing our business has come through conversations with our dear customers. What do they love best about Europe? Which colors recall their best memories? Which coffees and teas bring them the greatest pleasure? Our wonderful staff provides the warm and welcoming atmoshere that we hope makes visiting Ann Marie's a special experience. Customers are friends, and friends are family…they're what life enjoyment is all about. Together, we have traveled, tasted, laughed and learned. They inspire and give me so much more than I can possibly return.
Saving the best for last…I met my wonderful husband in 1992. He is from Switzerland, and through him, I have learned so much about business, world travel and how Europeans enjoy life. Stephan has given me the courage to take chances and the support to make Ann Marie's a success. He is a big part of who we are today and has been my ultimate inspiration. We are so happy that our beautiful family is now involved in the business. We hope our Ann Marie's story continues to grow, like it began...with family.