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Keep ME Open: Coffee Break Cafe feels the impact of the coronavirus

The owner of the restaurant in Hampden tells NEWS CENTER Maine she has seen a 50% decrease in sales, compared to what she was making last year.

HAMPDEN, Maine — Many small businesses in Maine are having a hard time getting back on their feet during this pandemic. Coffee Break Cafe in Hampden is one of those businesses.

The owner of the cafe tells NEWS CENTER Maine she has seen a 50 percent decrease in sales, compared to what she was making last year.

Coffee Break Cafe just doing take-out for a while, but now they are back open for dine-in services with fewer tables.

"It's limited seating, out of nine tables I now have five, and I have no counter seats, so yeah I have limited seating, but there is still plenty of seating," says Laurie Wilbur, one of the co-owners at Coffee Break Cafe.

Wilbur says she thinks many people believe they are still closed, but they're not.

Fresh Blueberry, Oat bran with molasses and raisins, and whole grai... n with raspberries, white chocolate chips and coconut muffins. Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Waffle with raspberries and cream. $4.99. Lunch special meatball sub with French fries $8.99.

"I have on my marquee sign that we are open, I have on our Facebook page we are open, but a lot of people still don't know we are open, we'd love to have our customers back," says Wilbur.

The ROMEO's (Retired Old Men Eating Out) are a group of friends that meet every Thursday to have breakfast at Coffee Break, sit and chat for an hour or two! When the pandemic started, they decided to find a safe way to keep their Thursday gatherings.

"They decided they could still meet, and they set up chairs in the parking lot," says Wilbur.

They place their orders on the phone, go in and pay and take their breakfast right outside the cafe.

"The food is great, the people are wonderful," says James Husson, one of the ROMEO's.

Credit: NCM

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"We sit here and swap lies, we solve all the problems of the world," says Husson.

Fresh Blueberry, Oat bran with molasses and raisins, and whole grai... n with raspberries, white chocolate chips and coconut muffins. Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Waffle with raspberries and cream. $4.99. Lunch special meatball sub with French fries $8.99.

The cafes' most popular items are biscuit sandwiches, omelets, and donuts!

Since the start of the pandemic, sales at Coffee Break Cafe have significantly dropped.

"We are doing maybe 50 percent, some days a little less some days a little more...it's a challenge here," says Wilbur.

Only Wilbur, the cook, and the cashier are back working, back in the day, there were six employees.

Coffee Break Cafe in Hampden is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and remember...breakfast is served all day! If you are not comfortable dining in, you can always get your food to-go.

If you don't feel comfortable eating inside just yet, take-out is always an option.

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