For Latte Luna, “For Sale” doesn’t mean the end.
The cozy coffee shop at 2715 Manatee Ave. W. has been put up for sale, but owner Deb Short hopes the business she started isn’t going anywhere.
In fact, she’s looking for the next owner to continue the legacy started and possibly expand beyond the single shop.
“This could go big. You could have Lunas all over the place,” Short said.
Short said she put it off as long as possible but has been toying with the decision to sell the business since the beginning of summer. She settled on it in the past couple weeks. She’s asking $115,000 for the business, according to the posting on BizBuySell.com.
Citing health and retirement, Short said it’s time to let her body rest after teaching and nursing.
She started the coffee shop business herself in 2012.
“When I see a hole, I try to fill it and that’s what this was. There was no place for people to go in a comfortable home-like atmosphere, hang out with their family and friends, not feel rushed out the door,” Short said. “There really was no other option.”
The 2,500-square-foot café that seats more than 60 people is nestled into a restored 100-year-old home. The large back kitchen is where Short and her staff create the baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches served at Latte Luna and where she’s taught several employees how to cook her family recipes.
Open six days a week, the coffee shop and café host several book clubs, service clubs, crafting groups and Bible studies on a regular basis. It’s also seen first dates that have led to engagements in its cozy corners.
“It’s like a ministry. People come up and tell us their stories and it’s just a very interactive place,” Short said.
On Sundays, when the doors are closed to the public, the cafe can be rented for private events.
While there is some sadness to see the woman behind the community staple leave, Short said those on staff and in the community understand why she has made the decision to sell and have been supportive.
“Most of them hope we can find someone that will just continue it like it is. People have an emotional attachment to this place, it’s kind of crazy,” Short said.
Latte Luna has been voted a Bradenton Herald People’s Choice winner for three years.
A post on Latte Luna’s Facebook page about the business going up for sale has been shared more than 100 times and received dozens of comments.
Short has involved her family in the business as well — all four of her daughters and her son have worked inside the coffee shop at some point.
Short hopes the future buyer is someone who would work with the current 17 person part-time staff, according to the BizBuySell.com posting, saying, “They’d be silly not to.”
“Hopefully someone with the same mindset that realizes this is more than just a coffee shop,” Short said. “All the hard part of starting something new, a new idea, all that part’s done. The baby’s up and walking, just needs someone to hold its hand.”
It’s what Short will do next that is still a surprise.
“I’m waiting for God to tell me,” Short said. “Seriously, I’m open to whatever He puts in my path. Find another hole to fill, I guess, just one where I can sit down.”