NORTON — Almost every customer who walked into Debbie Graham’s coffee shop Friday morning greeted her by name and simply ordered their “usual.”
Nearly two years ago, Graham achieved her goal of opening her own coffee shop. She has been serving Norton residents and travelers hand-crafted coffee beverages and smoothies since.
“It’s been great,” Graham said. “I have a lot of regulars. And we have a lot of travelers too.”
The small coffee shop is located inside downtown Norton’s historic Heaton building, 112 S. Kansas Ave. The building was renovated a few years ago and houses several local businesses.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Graham, who had been dreaming of running her own business. A former coffee shop in the community recently had gone out of business, so she was looking for available space to start a new one.
That's when she was told the Heaton building renovations had included a small area intended for a coffee shop.
“I found out that they wanted a coffee shop in here, and they already had this section made for a coffee shop,” she said. “So I said, yeah — that’s where I want to be. A nice, new, renovated building.”
Graham has lived in the small Norton County community — population less than 3,000 — for the past three decades.
Java is open weekdays 7 to 11 a.m., but she extends hours if there are special events in the community. Graham runs the business herself and does not have additional staff members.
Mocha drinks are a local favorite, Graham said, noting she goes through “a lot of chocolate.” She also offers a menu of frozen coffee and smoothie drinks.
She is quick to admit she always loved coffee, but fell in love with creating espresso beverages while working as a barista for the original owners of the town’s former coffee shop.
“When I was at the coffee shop, I just fell in love with the whole thing. I love coffee,” Graham said. “It just all really came together like it was meant to be.”