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Cummings Candy & Coffee Shop

A Family Tradition

Published: Saturday, September 4, 2010

Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2010 09:09

CummingsCoffee

Cassandra Ufner / The Cube

Cummings Candy and Coffee shop is a small coffee shop located on Main Street in Butler. Easy to spot by its red and white stripe awning the shop has been a local family owned business for over 105 years. It is one of the oldest run family business' in downtown Butler, only falling second to The Butler Eagle which according to the Butler Eagle's website (www.butlerealge.com), has been owned and operated by the Wise family since 1895.

According to Cummings Website (www.cummingscoffee.com) the shop was started in 1905 by Pete Cummings who emigrated from Greece to the United States early in the 1900's.He named the now popular coffee shop Cummings Confectioners. Since then, numerous family members have been involved in the ownership and day-to-day running of the shop but the business has always remained a family one. Shortly after opening the shop Bill Cummings, (Pete's brother) came to the United States and quickly joined the family business. Cummings Confections was then changed to Cummings Candy and became famous for its homemade chocolates. After World War II Bill's son Thomas Cummings took over the business and in 1995 Thomas' son Barry joined the family business as well. Through his contribution espresso began to be served and more recently loose leafed tea as well.

So what makes Cummings different from any other coffee and candy shop? "The shop" as it is commonly referred to by staff and regular visitors still has the original marble soda fountain and mahogany booths. It has the feel of an "old-time" candy and soda shop, the kind that you would see in movies. The atmosphere is always friendly and welcoming and the staff is more than willing to make you any kind of drink, smoothie, or milkshake you would want. The shop has come a long way from the candy and soda menu that it once had. While the chocolates are still phenomenal the menu has grown increasingly. Cummings now serves organic coffee, espressos, milkshakes and ice cream, fruit smoothies, soda straight from the soda fountain, loose leaf tea, chocolates, scones, and much more. In the colder months peanut brittle is made right in the shop. A common question from people who have never been to Cummings is "well how is the coffee different from that of a chain company? Why shouldn't I just go there?" There are numerous reasons as to why Cummings blows chain company coffee shops out of the water. The top three are the variety of coffees and teas, the price, and the convenience to most places in Butler, not to mention the fun and inviting atmosphere. "We have nine different kinds of lose leaf tea at the shop, including black and green teas, even some fruit flavors" – says Melinda Miller who works for Cummings Coffee and Candy and is the nice of Barry Cummings. "There are different specials for coffees daily and an organic, healthier version (that still tastes the same as the nonorganic if not better) is featured as the house, decaf, and international blends of the day." The prices at Cummings are always much cheaper than those of chain brand shops which can charge five or more dollars for a simple milkshake or smoothie while at Cummings these cost around three dollars depending on the order and iced teas made from loose leaf are only $2.25. Today, Cummings is still the same local hangout that it always has been but with the addition of espresso and teas its appeal has also come to include younger generations. The main location of the shop (downtown Butler on Main Street) is now a wireless hotspot with internet provided by Armstrong Cable. The shop also features an in-store computer for use while drinking your coffee or bringing your own laptop is always an option. Cummings Coffee can be found at two other locations as well. There are now coffee carts located at Butler Memorial Hospital in the lobby of the tower as well as at Benbrook Medical Center right off of Benbrook Road. So next time you're driving through downtown Main Street stop by and see what Cummings is all about.

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