The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

Perks Cafe closing doors after 14 years

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A veteran downtown Van Wert business has served its last cup of coffee.

Perks Cafe in downtown Van Wert is closing its doors after 14 years. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Perks Cafe in downtown Van Wert is closing its doors after 14 years. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Owner Laura Harshman has announced the closing of Perks Café, 105 W. Main St. in downtown Van Wert.

“After a monumental ride in downtown Van Wert, Perks Café has shut its doors after 14 years,” Harshman said in a news release sent out Friday.

Opened in 2001, “Perks,” as many loyal customers called it, was the first business of its kind in northwest Ohio. Perks was established to provide high-quality roasted coffee drinks in a warm, family-friendly atmosphere.

In addition to serving a variety of coffee drinks, beans and flavored syrups, Perks also offered a light selection of sandwiches, salads and pastries. Through the years, Perks also supported other small business endeavors by placing their products in the café.

Despite the challenges of opening in what was then a somewhat lagging downtown economy, Harshman said she was committed to locating her business on Main Street. A lifelong Van Wert resident, Harshman, one of only eight international certified baristas in Ohio, added that she believed that her unusual “big city” concept was not too large for the citizens of a small town. She also hoped, accurately, that the unusual café would spur new growth in downtown retail businesses.

“I believed that Van Wert needed a gathering place that could be a place to sit, chat with friends, read or just become an oasis in an otherwise hectic day,” she said. “I’m proud to say Perks Café became just that.”

Through the success of the business has been realized, Harshman said that she decided it was time to close.

“I am very excited for what the next chapter of my life will be,” she noted. “I took a lot of time to make the decision, and closing is a little sad; but I just want more time with my family and to discover new things to do with my life.

Harshman added, though: “It will be strange not to arise at 4 a.m. every morning, and I will miss seeing all of the smiling faces of customers that have become my friends, but I know that there are great things to come for my family and me.”

Harshman and her staff also thanked those who helped make Perks a success.

At this point, the former Perks retail space will be available for lease.

POSTED: 02/28/15 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: News