Tucked away above American Paradise Real Estate in Cruz Bay is a happy little oasis where patrons can enjoy coffee and sweet treats, store luggage and book excursions.
Ten year St. John resident Alexandra Nydick and her boyfriend, Rance Pion II, saw the potential in the secluded space when coffee shop Every Ting moved from the area to Gallows Point.
“We saw this space empty for two years, and we thought, ‘wow, what a great spot,’” said Nydick. “Every Ting was moving, so we decided to do coffee.”
Three weeks ago, the couple opened their business, Bringin’ The Fun, which Nydick describes as a “coffee shop where you can do other things.”
Nydick, who spent more than seven years in the restaurant industry working for other people, decided it was time to step out on her own.
Using Every Inch
“After working for other people for so long, I decided it was time to do something for myself,” said Nydick.
Pion, who runs his own custom home painting business, lent his artistry and business sense to Bringin’ The Fun, and friend Erik “Pickle” Groetzinger and many others helped ready the space for the shop, Nydick explained.
“We wanted to do as much as we could with the space,” said Nydick. “Not everything works year round, but coffee is good year round. We were looking for different ways to use every inch.”
Nydick makes the most of the large space by offering tables and chairs to lounge at while sipping coffee, enjoying the view of Cruz Bay, and by offering several services, including luggage storage, excursion bookings, and soon to come, wireless internet access and the ability to print airline boarding passes.
Print Boarding Passes, Store Luggage
Bringin’ The Fun’s boarding pass printing could be a valuable service to many tourists, as the shop is the only internet cafe opened on Sundays, according to Nydick.
Tourists who want to store their luggage for the day, but are intimidated by the stairs leading up to Bringin’ The Fun need not worry, explained Nydick.
“We don’t mind helping people up the steps with their bags, and if somebody has a lot of bags, we’ll give them a volume discount,” she said.
Bringin’ The Fun caters to locals as well, and already has several loyal customers, according to Nydick.
“We have New York style bagels, imported from the Bronx, my hometown, with lox, cream cheese, tomatoes and red onion,” she said. “We also have Edy’s ice cream by the scoop, and I make a mean vanilla espresso shake. It’s the tastiest item on the menu.”
Adding to the space’s relaxed, positive ambiance is a small pool with a waterfall, which will soon feature a colored light display.
Bringin’ The Fun also sells glow toys and novelty items, which Nydick sold at last year’s St. John Festival.
One noticeable absence among the shop’s coffee, tea and espresso offerings is alcohol.
“We are trying to make it a happy, positive place, where you don’t have to drink alcohol,” said Nydick.
While many people who start their own business soon discover they can’t handle the many overwhelming issues that often pop up, Nydick, nicknamed “Smiley,” is enjoying being on her own, she explained.
“I like having my own business a lot,” said Nydick. “I just want more people to know about us. It’s a nice, happy place to hang out.”
Bringin’ The Fun, located above American Paradise Real Estate and next to Banana Deck, is open daily from 7 a.m. until around 6 p.m., and on Sundays from around 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nydick is considering expanding the shop’s Sunday hours to accommodate the breakfast crowd. For more information, call 715-2FUN.