Meyers, California coffee shop on the market; woman builds Kickstarter campaign to buy it |

Meyers, California coffee shop on the market; woman builds Kickstarter campaign to buy it

Jack Barnwell
Freel Perk barista Jennifer Lay started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to purchase a Meyers coffee shop.
Photo from Jennifer Lay |

MEYERS — Freel Perk coffee shop is a bustling stopping point in Meyers, with the scent of fresh-brewed local coffee wafting in the air.

Now the coffee shop, known for its laid-back atmosphere, is up for sale; owner Barbara Gerland wants to keep it local.

So does its barista Jennifer Lay, who’s brewing up a crowdfunding campaign to purchase Freel Perk for $135,000.

Lay said it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up and one she felt she could reach out the community for support.

“It made sense because I have a personal relationship with this place,” Lay said of her online campaign.

Lay has worked at Freel Perk on and off for two years, and as a barista overall for 10 years.

“I’m definitely passionate about coffee,” Lay said.

According to Gerland, she opened Freel Perk in 2013 for one reason: Meyers needed its own coffee shop.

“The closest one is Starbucks five miles away,” Gerland said. “I run early in the morning and sometimes I would think I need a cup of coffee.”

When Freel Perk first opened four years ago, Lay said the coffee shop was spartan, but she could smell the potential.

“Freel Perk has come a long way; but since the business is still so new, there’s a long way to go yet,” Lay added.

Both Lay and Gerland note that the coffee shop has become a local anchor in the small town and example of the growth occurring there.

“We have this blossoming environment; and with the right type of partnerships, it can grow,” Lay said.

Gerland said Lay would be the obvious choice as a buyer, but she’s not limiting her options.

“Jennifer knows the business, and it would be ideal because I wouldn’t have to a lot of training,” Gerland said.

Freel Perk’s Kickstarter campaign can be found online at:

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