When Matt Marques moved back to his hometown of Ely from Salt Lake City, he had one goal in mind: open a place where locals can order a cup of coffee and sit and enjoy it. On May 16, he saw that goal become a reality when he and his aunt Cindy opened the doors to The Cup, Ely’s latest small business to open in the heart of downtown.
With seating set up to face large windows pointed directly at downtown Aultman Street, the 25-year-old Marques said that he hoped his patrons would enjoy taking a minute to relax in the coffee shop and gaze out at the town he grew up in.
“I wanted a place that people could sit down in and take their time. It’s not a quick in and out type of thing. People can come in, sit down with a coffee and leave whenever they like without feeling pressured out the door,” the young manager of the coffee house said.
With that thought in mind, the interior has been tailored to offer a sparse but calming atmosphere. Amenities such as low volume music and free wifi allow those computer or tablet packing customers to take a minute to surf the internet and sip on a cappuccino. Of course, Maques hopes it offers a comfortable place to be social as well.
“This is the the kind of place that I want people to be able to come to to have a conversation. That was always something I wanted to see here growing up, was a place you could go and talk without feeling like you are taking up space,” he said.
It’s been a vision that, perhaps fittingly, has taken its time to come together for the two family members on staff. But it wasn’t always meant to be a coffee shop. The concept for the store originally started as a place for now owner Cindy Marques to sell her designer cakes and cupcakes out of.
“I had always baked cakes with my mom growing up, it was like a bonding thing for the two of us. Later in life, I started watching those cake shows like ‘Cake Boss’ on television and I thought to myself, I can do that!” Marques said.
According to Marques, she makes several new flavors of cupcakes to try each day in the store. She hopes to get the rest of her custom cake business off the ground and another service for The Cup’s customers, though she said it will likely take “several months” to get the ovens and other equipment ready. Even then, she will get to harken back to her childhood days to a degree as her mother still comes to visit and help her bake in the store.
In the mean time, she said she is happy that she gets the chance to work with her nephew and try and grow a new business in a city that often talks about needing new businesses. For Matt Marques, it is his first experience to get to run a business on his own, a task that he said comes with a lot of different emotions and stresses. But he is just trying to stake it one latte at a time.
“We take a lot of suggestions from customers that come here and tell us what hey would like us to add. We are just getting started and there are still things that Cindy and I would like to do, but we are a small staff and we don’t want to overextend ourselves too early.”
In addition to coffee and cupcakes, The Cup also offers snacks and small meal replacement fixes that tend to go with a cup of joe.
“We serve fresh bagels, muffins, cookies and even salads here too,” Marques said.
For more information on The Cup, call 775-289-3713.