New owners jazz up java joint

The new owners and the previous owners of Java Jazz CafE and Bakery may be different in many ways, but the one thing they each have in common is the passion to own and operate a small business.

Everett Doc Rivers, the former Java Jazz owner, has turned the Delaware Avenue business over to new proprietors Catherine Callan and Mary Alice Smith. For Rivers, beset by a series of health problems the past few years, the transition is bittersweet.

"It was a very difficult move for me, but I saw in these ladies the same sort of passion that I had for the business," said Rivers.

Callan and Smith, both from Delmar, are members of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. They started talking about their dream of owning a business six months ago while cooking for large Neighbors events.

"Mary Alice and I are both local activists, and our goal is to bring locally produced food to Java Jazz," Callan said.

The menu will stay the same, with pita wrap specials like the Tijuana Tuna and the Hamolulu. The only change is that many dairy, bread and coffee products will be purchased locally.

"I am researching all the different sources of coffee and sampling baked goods from local bakeries and shopping at farmers markets," said Smith. "I really feel the local economy is the way we need to go to support each other on a business basis."

Another goal down the road is to promote the creativity of local talent.

"We will be promoting local artists, musicians, storytellers, poets and hope to incorporate all that over a period of time," Callan said.

Rivers and his family have assisted Callan and Smith through the ownership transition, and each is complimentary of the other.

"We realize this business was built with integrity and care, and we recognize and appreciate that and hope to continue in that manner," Smith said.

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