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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • New coffee shop to open on Square

  • A new coffee shop is coming to the Neosho Square.
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  • A new coffee shop is coming to the Neosho Square.
    Mudd Puddles Coffee Shop, co-owned by Robin Manning and her daughter, Brittany Leal, will be located at 127 E. Main St., in the lower level of the Grotto Building.
    Manning said the shop will open the week of October 29.
    The owners are currently working to put their own touch on the space, which most recently housed the Grotto Bistro.
    A lounge area, made up of bright colors and pieces of art, represents what Manning said they hope the shop can become.
    "I want the Eureka Springs, (Ark.) type of atmosphere," Manning said. "Definitely eccentric, I love that."
    Manning said as Neosho residents, the two know what the community is looking for and said she plans to keep prices reasonable. A cup of house coffee starts at $1.50.
    The coffee shop's menu will include lattes, frappes, teas, smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and baked breakfast goods.
    Manning said once the shop is established, they will also look at grilled evening meals.
    "We're going to do family feasts at night where you have one certain menu and everybody basically eats the same thing and it's just kind of a family atmosphere," Manning said.
    She said the shop will also offer beer, wine, and coffee with liquor.
    Once a month, the shop will also hold an open-mic night, inviting poets, musicians, and any other area residents who wish to showcase their talents.
    Manning said though the hours may change as the owners get the feel for the new business, the hours will initially be set as 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    The shop will be closed on weekends, to allow for catering and for the venue to be used for private parties.
    Leal said she and her mother hope to offer a shop where customers can become regulars, and that meets a need in the Neosho community.
    "You've got to find the right thing for Neosho or it's not going to last," Leal said. "I think that coffee could be huge."
    While they work to prepare the shop for opening day, the owners are receiving some help from a friend and coffee enthusiast.
    Olga Kekutia, who met Manning on the online marketplace Craigslist when she sold Manning her coffee machine, has followed the machine from Tulsa, Okla. to Neosho to make sure the coffee is the best it can be.
    "It's not my coffee shop but I'd be so hurt if this coffee would not be good," Kekutia said.
    "After I met her I'm like 'oh my gosh, Olga, you've got to train me and you've got to be here at the coffee shop,'" Manning said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Manning said the vision of opening a coffee shop had been on her mind for years. Once her career as a counselor came to an end, she knew it was time to pursue the long-held dream.
    "I've had this name, 'Mudd Puddles' forever," Manning said. "I just lost the desire in counseling and I thought, I need to go for it while I have this free time. Everybody just kept pushing me 'come on, go, go, go.'"
    Though the shop is not yet open, Manning and Leal will be starting their catering services as early as next week.
    Those interested in contacting them about catering can do so by calling 454-4752.

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