Beat Nook Café Now Open!

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By Josette Rhodes

I am thrilled to announce the opening of the Beat Nook Café! Open Monday – Saturday 8 a.m – 7 p.m. Beatnik: A member of the Beat Generation. A person who avoids or rejects conventional dress, behavior, etc. Nook: any secluded or obscure corner. A small recess. Café: A small unpretentious restaurant.

Monica Madden Beat NookAs I mentioned in last month’s column, the most important thing to me about selling the Music & Coffee Cafe was finding that perfect someone that would take what we had created and bring it to the next level. That’s not an easy task and not just anyone would be able to make it happen. But God is great and the universe aligned, bringing us the beautiful and amazing Monica Madden!

I will never forget the moment this new journey began. Monica was bringing her empty coffee cup to me at the counter as she quietly inquired about the sale of the store. I commented that though there has been quite a bit of interest I have still not found the person that is meant to take it over. It was then that I heard what I instantly knew to be the answer to my prayers. In her soft voice Monica looked at me and simply said, “I’ll buy it.”

My heart did a little flip as I asked if she was serious. Her answer, “Yes, if you would trust me with your baby.” Trust her? Of course I would! What an honor to have those words spoken to me by such a beautiful soul! It was in that moment that I knew my beloved coffee shop was officially adopted and onto bigger and better things.

Those of you who were local when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans will remember what it was like for the families that came to our area fleeing the devastation. I remember. I worked at South Walton High School during that time and I will never forget those days. So many students were registering. We had students sitting on the floors and window ledges of the classrooms. Classes were formed in every available space. So many children had lost everything. Their belongings, their homes, their pets, and for some, even their family members. It was heartbreaking. Yet through such dark days there are always those souls that shine just a little bit brighter casting a glow of hope and calmness to those around them. It was that glow that first made me notice Monica in a sea of students.

Monica and her Mom lost everything to that cruel storm. Their home was completely destroyed. Monica and her family had visited the area throughout her childhood and it felt right to them to head to a place that was familiar. And even though they had lost everything, if asked Monica would always say she was one of the lucky ones. Eventually they were able to find a house to call their own and they have lived there ever since.
There are many instances throughout the years that have revealed to me the heart and the character of this fine young woman. And it is my honor to pass the baton to such capable hands.

And talk about capable hands! Monica has wanted to open her own coffee shop since she was 11 years old. She has worked at Starbucks and has managed one of the more popular eateries on 30A. Oh, and did I mention she loves to bake homemade sweet treats?!
Monica is expanding the old menu with her own recipes while keeping all the favorites. She says “I’m excited about this new adventure! I couldn’t wait to open the doors back up for the regulars that you had as well as any newcomers that stumble upon the shop.”

Once things are flowing smoothly you can expect Poetry Night and 30A Songwriter Radio hosted music nights to be back. And… dare I even say it… Monica will be introducing the Beat Nook Café Karaoke Night!

Please join me in welcoming Monica Madden as South Walton’s newest business owner! And I will see you at the best little coffee shop in town. All Beatniks welcome.