#shopscranton Spotlight: Meet Julie MacDowall of Northern Light Espresso Bar

Monday, July 21, 2014

The ScrantonMade team can often be found sitting at Northern Light planning or dreaming about our next event.  We got the chance to chat with owner Julie MacDowall to talk about the joys of owning a downtown business. Northern Light will be providing coffee cuppings and tastings outside their storefront during Arts on the Square.  We can’t wait!

How long has Northern Light Espresso Bar been in business downtown?

​Northern Light has been in business in downtown since 2003. Darby and I purchased the cafe in 2009. ​

What made you decide to purchase a cafe in downtown Scranton?
​We were looking to open a Cafe in town, and found out that this business was for sale.​

What do you enjoy most about being downtown?

​Our customers and our employees. ​

We have made many lifelong friends within our customer base. These are the people that you see every day. The life blood of the business, and we have an opportunity to chat every day, even if the conversation is a brief one. Our employees are our family. Darby and I couldn't imagine our lives without them being a part of it. We celebrate our joys and sorrows together. We have watched many of them grow from being young students into successful adults, with career paths of their own.

What’s your key to success?

​Hard work, dedication, treating employees fairly, and giving the customers what they want. We love to hear from our customers when they let us know what they like or don't like. We have really changed the face of Northern Light. When we purchased the business, there were limited food options; basically nothing more than frozen pastries. Now we offer freshly baked cookies, muffins, scones and cakes, as well as Salads, Sandwiches, Soups and Wraps. We have Bagels and Breads delivered fresh each day. We strive to offer the best and largest assortment of Fair trade, Organic coffees and Loose Leaf Teas.   

Why are events like Arts on The Square are good for our community and small businesses?

​Darby and I have always thought that a Market on the Square would be great way to get people into the downtown.  Arts on the Square does a great job of showcasing locally talented artist and musicians.

Why do you think it’s important to support local?
More and more people realize the importance of buying local and shopping at small businesses.  Keeping the money within your own community helps to provide a healthy economic environment and make downtown a vibrant place to shop, live and work.  

Will you be offering any day of specials during AOTS?  If so, tell us more…..

Our Barista Trainer and Roaster Luke Damiani will be in front of the shop
from 2 pm – 7pm providing coffee cuppings and tastings of some of his own coffees.  He will also be doing some brewing demonstrations featuring the Chemex Pourover, The Clever Dripper and French Press.

Find Northern Light Espresso Bar:
Location: 536 Spruce Street, Courthouse Square, Downtown Scranton

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