Koco Java celebrating grand opening Thursday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Think of it this way.
The coffee beans come from the fields of Honduras, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia and Ethiopia. They go through a U.S. wholesaler in Seattle and arrive at Koco Java in 150-pound burlap bags.
The beans soon find their way into Arturo and Berta Therecka’s on-site roaster and begin changing colors with the temperature, becoming cinnamon brown then cracking open as they turn roasted brown and ready for grinding.
Soon those beans from far-off lands are part of a piping hot cup of coffee ó a complement to the morning newspaper, a fresh-baked muffin or some free Internet browsing on a laptop.
“The fresher the roast, the fresher the brew,” Arturo Therecka says.
Arturo and Berta Therecka moved to Salisbury from Connecticut and are roasting a dream on the corner of North Main and Kerr streets (329 N. Main St.) with their first coffee shop, Koco Java.
“Basically, we love doing it,” Arturo says.
The couple have been been open since July 6, and Koco Java will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday.
The spot used to be Morgan’s and Spenzanelli’s coffee houses and, before that, a dry-cleaning business and tile shop.
The Thereckas have completely redone the inside, which features comfortable leather furniture, practical tables and chairs, free satellite radio and wireless Internet.
A good supply of natural light pours into the corner spot, which is close to the Rowan County Courthouse, nearby attorney offices and the Rowan County Office Building.
“It’s a great location,” Arturo says.
Koco Java is open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
It offers all varieties of coffee, espresso, lattes, frappes, smoothies, iced tea, energy drinks and pastries.
Nova’s Bakery in Charlotte supplies many of the baked goods, which include eclairs, cookies, muffins, bagels and biscotti.
Before coming to Salisbury, Arturo and Berta owned and operated an Italian restaurant in Connecticut, and they make their own tiramisu and cannoli for Koco Java.
The shop’s roasted beans and ground coffee are for sale by the bag, and gift baskets are available.
Koco Java also has a drive-through window on the Kerr Street side and plenty of on-street and off-street parking.
Of Albanian descent but longtime U.S. residents, the Thereckas came to know Salisbury by visiting Arturo’s sister. She kept urging them to relocate to the South.
The couple eventually sold Nona’s, their Italian restaurant, and scoured Salisbury for a possible location for a coffee shop ó always with a longing eye toward the Spenzanelli’s location.
“And, all of a sudden, it was available,” Arturo recalls.
The young couple have been married 11 years and have two children.
For roasting his beans, Arturo depends on a Diedrich Manufacturing roaster, which he considers one of the best in the country. He can roast batches ranging from 1 to 25 pounds.
“Everyday, we roast the beans,” Arturo says. “… We always try to keep it as fresh as possible.”
Roasting beans on site helps keep the price of coffee lower, Arturo says. He brings to Koco Java 14 years of coffee experience, which has included going to plantations and scouting for the best beans.
As Koco Java’s reputation grows, the couple envision wholesaling their roasted beans and blends to other coffee shops and restaurants.
“We’re confident that what we offer is very good,” Arturo says.