Tasha Bobrosky's 2003 Honda CRV, Tallulah, is a lady of the night.
"She's red, she glows, she's hot," says the co-owner of Riverbend Coffee Co., which took over the infamous Captain Buzzy's Beanery space in Church Hill in July.
Her car complements her husband-turned-business-partner Brian Colegrove's 1995 rusty Dodge Ram frequently parked outside the shop. It makes an ever-so slight-noise when the brakes are pumped, he says, but it does the job.
Today, the truck transports Oreos needed for a Riverbend milkshake — one part of the shop's overhaul of Buzzy's menu.
The couple is quick to say its favorite food item is the Country Peach panini, a savory and sweet combination of country ham, scallion cream cheese, jalapenos and peach preserves. Concocted by a friend who's also a chef, the menu includes a balsamic pork panini with roasted tenderloin, basil and fontina cheese and an ultimate grilled cheese with Gruyere, cheddar and bacon. Nightingale ice cream sandwiches are also available along with smoothies, bagels and scones.
"We're not selling Sam's Club baked goods," Colegrove says with a chuckle. "Everything is baked in-house."
While it's keeping true to Buzzy's classic Sumatra dark roast, Riverbend diversifies its coffee portfolio with Costa Rican beans, a Brazilian medium roast and blueberry coffee. With Bobrosky and Colegrove being new to coffee roasting and business ownership, it's been a chaotic process.
"We're learning as we go, but [our staffers] are awesome people," Colegrove says. "We look to them as to what's next."
Bobrosky's last day as a full-time dietitian before being round-the-clock at Riverbend is coming up. As she mentions it, she remembers when her dream was to be a farmer. Colegrove interjects to say he doesn't know why since she's able to kill a succulent.
Although he's not giving up his day job in telecommunication sales just yet, Colegrove says he's excited to see where Riverbend takes him in a year. Bobrosky looks forward to curbing her recurring nightmares of forgetting how to make a latte or BLT.
"It's so odd because both of us at our jobs are the go-to," Bobrosky says of adjusting to not knowing everything yet. "But we have a lot of backup."
As for revamping the space — which included upgrading the espresso machines and coffee brewers — it was an extensive process. When they say they cleaned the premises with a toothbrush, they're not kidding.
But Bobrosky, a dedicated Buzzy's customer for nearly 10 years and TV fanatic who allegedly wins at "Friends" trivia every time, says it's worth it. The 16-year dietitian always wanted to open a coffee shop that resembled the setting of the '80s show Cheers, where everyone knows everyone and meets up at the neighborhood spot. She even modeled the women's bathroom after Rachel and Monica's apartment in "Friends."
So she welcomes her life feeling like a sitcom.
Included in the character list are staffers who worked at Buzzy's for years — and who Bobrosky and Colegrove say are the backbone of the shop," and the regular customers who've been with Buzzy from the start, such as Eddie Jenkins, a local cop, and Mr. Rucker, who has his designated couch near the window.
The next step for Riverbend? Wholesaling its coffee, potentially establishing a coffee cart and creating a space near Buzzy's classic coffee roaster, a limited edition 1980 Probat GN12, for locals to keep their personal mugs.
"Nobody else is putting their lips on my mug!" Colegrove jokes.
Riverbend Coffee Co.
2523 E. Broad St.
Mondays - Fridays 6:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturdays 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sundays 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.