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Indiana Cafe Owner Uses HUD Loan to Begin Roasting

A downtown Hammond, Indiana, cafe will begin roasting its own beans this summer, after receiving a $60,000 loan from the Hammond Redevelopment Commission.

Hammond Cafe to begin roastingJohn Vezmar, the owner of the Blue Room Cafe, told the nwitimes.com that he had no intention of running a roasting operation when he opened the coffee shop, but has since found that consumers’ passion for finding a perfect cup may make roasting and selling beans viable.

A requirement of the loan is that Vezmar hires two Hammond residents to maintain two new positions for two years.

Phil Taillon, Hammond’s Department of Planning and Development executive director, told the paper that the loan funds are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We saw what was going on in the economy and saw a lot of our businesses needed help, but banks were not loaning any money,” Taillon told nwitimes.com.

Vezmar told the paper that the loan may help Hammond’s coffee industry grow, as a whole.

“I am most excited about the expansion in general for the Blue Room and the opportunities that will be created as the result of the expansion,” Vezmar said, “such as creating closer relationships with other local coffee shops in the area that might want to serve our roasted coffee and the kind of community aspect it will create.”

The full story: nwitimes.com

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