Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:21 PM on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

K Bay Caffé focuses on drive-through satisfaction

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


"Time for a change," is how Michael McGuire, owner of K Bay Caffé describes K Bay's new location and sharper focus.

On June 30, McGuire and his crew served their last cup of coffee at K Bay's East End Road location near Redden Marine, where customers had the option of driving through or coming inside.

McGuire opened the following morning closer to town, on the opposite side of the road and with two drive-through windows.

That marks a change from McGuire's former vision of a combination café and roasting company.

"The café got about 80 percent built out and then December of 2008 happened. Apparently the economy crashed," said McGuire of the loss of funding to complete his vision.

Since then, K Bay's support has become evident.

"It was only through East End businesses and commuter traffic that K Bay became what it is because they supported us so much in what we were doing," said McGuire, who discovered serving both drive-through and walk-in customers was difficult. Attention to one distracted from the other.

"We weren't able to do either one as well as we wanted," he said.

Rather than continuing to build a larger business, McGuire chose to remain faithful to the loyal drive-through crowd.

K Bay Caffé's roaster was recently relocated to a Bear Creek location, allowing McGuire to continue supporting "quality, sustainability and doing a great job of being stewards of our customers' donations, as it were ... to get the best coffee in the world and have it be fresh and amazing," he said.

The new, small, movable base of operations will allow McGuire to temporarily relocate to the fairgrounds in Ninilchik for Salmonstock 2012, a three-day music festival sponsored by Renewable Resources Foundation on Aug. 3-5.

"Everybody should just come up to Ninilchik with us," said McGuire. "It's going to be the best place in the state to be for those three days."

K Bay Caffé coffee can be purchased by the pound at the East End Road drive-through location, and at Maura's Café and Homer Brewing Company.

"I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness several times a day when I see all our friends and neighbors happy for us ... showing up at our new spot," said McGuire.

"We have built some great relationships with people and it's really awesome to be here."