Barista Mud House

Barista Mud House


Owner’s Investment: Less than $10,000

Barista Mud House in Sandy Creek houses a coffee shop, art gallery and musical theater all in one neat package.

Owner Tamara Howard combined all of her lifelong passions when she opened the coffee shop in November.

She is located at 2068 Harwood Drive.

The building had been unused for quite some time, so it needed a complete renovation before Howard could use it for her coffeehouse. It took her more than a year to do a complete transformation of the property.

She had cherry wood laid on the floor and walls  inside her shop, placed a mosaic of her logo on the floor of the entrance and built a cashier counter featuring a wooden sunrise on its façade.

In all, Howard said she invested less than $10,000 to get up and running, with no assistance from a bank or additional investors. She now owns the property and rents the space above the coffee shop to tenants.

“I did not go out and buy big fancy stuff. I just kept it simple. I just tried to cook easy. I didn’t want a big elaborate kitchen. This is my gig. So I don’t have help right now, I do everything myself, and it really works for me that way,” said Howard.

She hoped for a place to have music and art bring the community together. As an accomplished artist herself, she wanted a place to showcase local talent.

The Barista Mud House will open a few nights a week to host musical entertainment, and will soon be used as an art gallery. She also hopes to feature poetry readings in the future.

Business is slow but steady, Howard said, as the shop is relatively new and people have not yet discovered it. However, she is expecting a full return on her investment within the first year.

The Barista Mud House features health-conscious items such as vitamin-infused smoothies, teas, salads, wraps and sandwiches. Howard said her homemade fresh food and drinks will set her apart from local competition.

The coffee shop is open daily until 1 p.m.