A lot has changed since The Coffee Peddlar opened in 2010.
“Market Street Grille, Parlour on the Avenue, Village Pharmacy… all had their fair share of faithful customers but there was no reason to linger, no place to connect,” said Peddlar Co-Owner Gerilyn Jobe.
Jobe and her mom, Pat Frey, who is also her business partner, were both at a crossroads in life when they decided to take a chance opening a coffee house. They both loved historic buildings, so why not downtown Harrison?
“Preserving the beauty of the historic buildings has always guided the choices we have made,” Jobe said. “Having an area filled with beautiful old structures makes Harrison special. The heart of any community is the downtown. We believe that the stronger the downtown is, the stronger the community becomes.”
That’s also the rationale for The District, an association of downtown businesses led by Jobe. The District business owners have coordinated high-profile, annual events like The Taste of Harrison, bringing thousands of people into the downtown and demonstrating it is a viable place to do business. In 2020, The District worked with the City of Harrison to gain a DORA designation and attract shoppers and diners with more regularity.
Jobe credits faithful support from her husband, Mitchell Jobe, and father, Jerry Frey, a do-it-yourself spirit and community support. So, when the mother-daughter duo dreamed up the concept for Heist + Co. next door to the Peddlar, they leaned into this support system. And they would need it.
Heist opened in December 2019 as an evening destination for conversation, community and connection. That would be radically challenged when the pandemic struck. Forced to close in March 2020, they had to reimagine their concept and pivot repeatedly.
“It was and still is an overwhelming thing to speak about,” Jobe said. “We will be forever grateful to this community. We strive daily to be the best we can be for that reason alone!”
Both the Peddlar and Heist have earned rave reviews including “best of” accolades from magazines and news features. Greater Harrison Chamber of Commerce named The Peddlar “Business of the Year” in 2019. But that’s not their why. Jobe says recognition is great, but what matters most is the connection with guests, and the seeds planted for the future.
Building on what’s been planted in Harrison’s historic downtown, Mitchell Jobe recently opened West Oak and Iron with his business partner Brian Hennessey. The showroom includees handbuilt, heirloom-quality furniture and unique home goods. The business joins a handful of others that are changing the expectation for what can be found and experienced in Harrison.
Between the three businesses, the Jobe and Frey families have created at least 40 jobs in Harrison.
“We have poured everything we have into these businesses,” Jobe said. “We’re just extremely grateful to people at the City for guidance and encouragement as well as our customers who support us.”
The Coffee Peddlar Owners Gerilyn Jobe and Pat Frey (112 Harrison Ave.)
Heist + Co., (108 Harrison Ave.)
West Oak & Iron Owners Mitchell Jobe and Brian Hennessey (419 Harrison Ave.)