New coffee shop brings ‘lighter’ roasts to area

East End Coffee Co. promotes modern atmosphere

Sentinel photo by TINA LOCURTO
Owners Ryan Cherry, left, and Lillah Cherry stand in front of East End Coffee Co. Monday afternoon in downtown Lewistown.

LEWISTOWN – For coffee fanatics Ryan and Lillah Cherry, opening their very own coffee shop was just a mere idea until a few weeks ago.

East End Coffee Co., located at 18 E. Market St., recently opened on May 23 with the owners’ hopes of attracting a new and different crowd to the area.

“There really wasn’t much going on downtown,” Ryan Cherry said. “I wanted a place that I would want to hang out at.”

Formerly Cafe Madora, East End Coffee now occupies the space in downtown Lewistown.

“We definitely want to offer a unique atmosphere and the best coffee drinks that we can sell,” Ryan Cherry said.

He described their coffee style as a much lighter and brighter roast with natural sweetness, called “third wave coffee,” vastly differing from other coffee chains that offer darker brews.

With a simple menu ranging from various coffee drinks, loose leaf tea and pastries, Ryan and Lillah Cherry decided to focus their shop on the quality rather than quantity.

“All of our stuff is as curated as by design as possible, we don’t just put something on the menu to have it,” Ryan Cherry said.

Lillah Cherry said gourmet cupcakes will also be available to purchase every Friday, provided by Icing on the Cake.

In addition to selling coffee, the shop doubles as an art gallery, featuring a local artist from the area on every first Friday of the month.

On June 2, they featured their first artist, Alan Aumiller, along with a live musical performance by Aaron Pearson.

Lillah Cherry said the art featured will be on display for the entire month, and available to purchase.

Before opening their store, Lillah Cherry was an office manager for Common Ground Magazine. Ryan Cherry, meanwhile, juggles running the coffee shop and working full-time as a web developer and graphic designer.

In total, it took about two years to make the duo’s dreams a reality.

“We have a lot of amazing friends who really helped us out,” Ryan Cherry said.

Ryan Cherry said in the future they hope to evolve their menu, either by selling more coffee drinks or bringing in outside vendors, as well as adding a section to feature local artisans.

For now though, the two manage and run the store themselves with the overall goal of serving the best quality coffee and teas available to the public.

“It’s (East End Coffee Co.) designed for people to hang out, have a good time and enjoy themselves,” Ryan Cherry said.