PJ's Coffee Chalmette Location Marks a Decade
NEW ORLEANS – The PJ's Coffee of New Orleans location in Chalmette has been serving St. Bernard residents for a decade. The press release below details its journey.
Three years after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Parish was by no means back to health, and frankly, it was a shell of its former self. That didn't stop a Chalmette native from making an impact for the next decade.
In December of 2008, Kelly Songy made a decision that most simply wouldn't. She opened a coffee shop in the heart of her beaten-down hometown.
"Opening that fast was a lot more than a business decision to me, and I wasn't the only one to take the chance. Chalmette is one big family and I was proud to see others open up as well. We needed each other," said Songy.
She opened PJ's at a rather inopportune time, and has prospered to say the least. In the ten years its been open for business, the location has racked up acknowledgements within the Ballard Brands/PJ's Coffee of New Orleans umbrella, including: Rookie of the Year and numerous Franchisee of the Year awards; and its made consistent finishes as a Top 10 location in sales, including several years at number one. She has also received Community Service and Achievement awards.
"It's important to give back; it's that simple. With what we've been through, it's natural," said Songy.
She has thanked her customers by offering them complimentary coffee and tea. The ten-year celebration culminates this week with daily specials, and ends with the finale on Sunday, Dec. 2 – its official ten-year anniversary. On this day, the location will give away PJ's products and memorabilia, as well as $1000 worth of "grand prizes" to every 100th customer.
"We certainly wouldn't have made it this far without a great support system from the Ballard brothers, the corporate team, and the other franchisees. I've also been blessed with a wonderful group of employees over the years. They are the straw that stirs the drink," explained Songy.
"Kelly Songy's Chalmette PJ's is one of the top performing locations in the PJ's system, which can be attributed to her outstanding customer service, her dedication to her community, her incredible employees, and her passion for coffee and the PJ's brand. We look forward to the next ten years of having Kelly and her team in our family," said Paul Ballard, principal at Ballard Brands and PJ's Coffee of New Orleans.
"I've loved working for Kelly. She's been way more than a boss; she's been a great friend and mentor. I'm confident I can speak for the whole staff with that," said Kasey Cupp, the general manager, and an employee of eight years.
"To make it ten years has been tough; there's no denying that. But the acknowledgement and thanks goes to the customers. Without them, we wouldn't make it a day," said Songy. "The St. Bernard community is special, and this is proof of that; and I owe them thanks – a lot of thanks."