Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Alison Hattan, 20, is off to an early start to her business career. The 2010 Dallas High graduate opened The Well on Aug. 31, partly to provide the community with "a place that anyone can come and have a place to hangout."
September 18, 2012
DALLAS -- Chances are Alison Hattan is the only member of the Dallas High School Class of 2010 to already have launched her own business.
If not, she belongs to an unusually ambitious graduating class.
Hattan, 20, opened a coffee shop, The Well, on Aug. 31 in the former Salon Cafe at 1042 Main St. in Dallas. Hattan said she was driven to open the coffee shop to offer teens and young adults a place to hang out on weekend nights.
"There isn't a lot to do in Dallas in the late hours," she said. "I really want it to be a place that anyone can come and have a place to hang out, but especially high school students and young adults."
She said the idea began to grow after she helped out at a church camp for teens about a year and a half ago.
"There was a speaker there who had done a lot of crazy things that he felt God had led him to do," she said. "I just started really thinking about how I would love to have a place in Dallas where students could just come and hang out. It was unexpected, but that is how it happened."
Hattan named her coffee shop after a Bible parable of Jesus and the Samaritan woman meeting at a well. She said they connected over a drink -- water in this case. Hattan considers the story a model for the environment she would like to create at The Well.
"It really captures that he (Jesus) used what they had in common to eventually tell her who he was, but in a way that was natural," Hattan said. "He just started a relationship with her through a drink. That's what I want it to be like here."
For starters, the coffee shop is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to midnight. Hattan is considering expanding to add weeknight hours, but not for a while. After all, she is still working two day jobs -- one in a drive-thru coffee shop in Rickreall and the other at the Dallas Health & Vitality Center.
The Well's drink menu includes coffee, blended coffee drinks, hot chocolate, Italian sodas and chai lattes. The Well serves a light menu of food -- such as bagels and cream cheese and scones -- that changes each week.
Hattan said she will add specialty drinks to the menu which may be familiar to fans of the former Dallas coffee drive-thru, Coffee Plantation.
"The owners there ... they are going to let me have the recipes," Hattan said. "There will be some specialty drinks the town hasn't seen in a while."
Hattan said she has had plenty of support for her venture. Her boss at the vitality center offered guidance in setting up her shop and working in the drive-thru gave her experience in making coffee. However, with the exception of financial support of people who believe in her vision, Hattan provided all the money and footwork needed to open the business.
She believes the effort, time and money will be rewarded.
"I really love the atmosphere of coffee shops, just how it's a community gathering place where I can develop relationships with customers and they can develop relationships with each other," she said. "It's just a good environment to hang out."
What: The Well.
Where: 1042 Main St., Dallas.
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. to midnight.
For more information: 503-400-9138.