In preparation for Brew Ha-Ha’s 11th anniversary, owner Gabby Loubiere-Higgins posted a TimeHop photo to her business’ Facebook page. The photo showed how six years ago Brew Ha-Ha had just two cake ball flavors — strawberry and red velvet.
“Nowadays, we’re offering 20-25 flavors a day in store,” Loubiere-Higgins said, laughing. “And we have over 150 flavors we can choose from.”
The cake ball popularity is just one way the coffee-shop and café has expanded in its 11 years on Jefferson Highway. Now, Brew Ha-Ha offers breakfast on the weekends, a daily lunch menu, catering and those signature cake balls as well as coffee and tea.
On Friday, the shop will celebrate its birthday with an all-day party, complete with specials, games and music.
To preview the festivities, Loubiere-Higgins discussed her business’ staying power and how she almost let it go.
How is business going these days?
Fantastic. Usually, summer brings that lull, but it’s just crazy. We’ve gotten so much more business doing birthday and wedding cakes, and specialty orders. [The summer] didn’t slow down at all for me. We just keep growing.
With 11 years to the business’ name, how are you expanding now?
Since November, we’ve gone back to doing three or four events a month and giving back to the community. I don’t want people to think I got successful, and I stopped giving back. I want Brew Ha-Ha to be a fixture in the community. Inside the shop, I want to create as much of a cultural expansion as possible with a monthly rotation of art. We’re just always trying to grow so that no two experiences are cookie-cutter. We don’t want to be stagnant. We have to keep it fresh with new flavors and artwork to make people constantly come back.
In your time, is there a certain memory that pops out?
I went through a rough patch at the three- or four-year mark and considered selling my store. Someone offered me $20,000 and told me I hadn’t created anything. After that, I hit a major reset button. I had to make a conscious decision that day. I went into this with a passion, and I said to myself, “I’ll be damned if someone deters me from something I know I’m capable of doing.” If I wanted to be as proud as I could be of it, I knew I would have to be present, and it would take me being aware of what was going on in the community. That was eight years ago now, and I could not be more proud of Brew Ha-Ha now. It always comes back to my staff. I’ve managed to find people who love the store ... It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.
How do you feel about not selling it?
[Had I sold the store,] t here was a fire in me that would’ve gone out, and I always would’ve been disappointed. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was so worth it. [Running Brew Ha-Ha] is like raising a child. You have to give it everything. None of this was without mistakes, too. I just knew I couldn’t give up. I had to roll with the punches and listen to customers. The time and struggle made it worth it. I think people see how hard you work. It makes them appreciate it more. I hope it inspires other people that anything is possible if your heart is in it, if you have the support of the people.
Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.