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Apr
18
2024
Business

Longtime Yellow Springs residents Shaun Craig, left, and Jake Siemer recently took ownership of Arise Café, a brunch-and-lunch restaurant located inside the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative campus, four miles from Yellow Springs. The pair aims to revamp the menu, to provide employment for those in substance abuse or addiction recovery and to cater to the culinary needs of Yellow Springs and nearby communities. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Dine and shine at Arise Café

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It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For some, though, its importance can last a lifetime.

Such is the case at Arise Café and Catering, a small brunch-and-lunch joint located at 2960 W. Enon Road, in Xenia Twp.just four miles from downtown Yellow Springs — now owned and operated by longtime villagers Shaun Craig and Jake Siemer.

The pair took the reins of the restaurant last month, assuming ownership from Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative, an area nonprofit located in the former Greene County Career Center that provides housing and vocational services to those in addiction recovery.

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“The idea is for this to continue to be a place that serves the local community with preference to people in recovery,” Craig told the News in a recent interview. “I want to give my employees a second chance — a place to come, to gain confidence, learn new skills and get reintegrated into society.”

Craig, who himself is in recovery, and Siemer come to Arise Café with decades of restaurant experience. As Craig said, they’ve both “run the gamut” in working at most Yellow Springs restaurants over the years; they first met at Peach’s over a decade ago. Most recently, they worked together at Calypso Grill and Smokehouse with Craig running the front-of-house show, and Siemer in the kitchen, cooking up something good.

“Together, we’ve catered for thousands of people over our careers,” Siemer said. “We got through the pandemic at Calypso. We know how to run a business and how to be creative.”

That creativity will soon come in handy, the pair said. They have immediate plans to revamp Arise Café’s menu — which, for now, mostly features typical Americana breakfast fare, sandwiches and wraps — to include more elaborate cuisine and specials. (This reporter had the good fortune to enjoy one of Siemer’s newest creations: French toast stuffed with homemade vanilla cream cheese and blueberry compote.)

“This is the culmination of 20-something years of cooking,” Siemer said proudly. “I can chop an onion eight different ways and cook an egg 21 different ways.”

Coming soon to the Arise menu: French toast stuffed with homemade vanilla cream cheese and blueberry compote. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

More changes are on the horizon under the cafe’s new ownership. Craig said he hopes to soon offer delivery to Fairborn, Xenia and Yellow Springs — that is, within an eight-mile radius of the restaurant — to strengthen the catering side of the business and to open seven days a week with expanded hours, thus necessitating a dinner menu.

“Really, with the goal of being more accessible for the recovery community,” Craig added, “evening meetings and gatherings could one day happen here.”

Additionally, Craig and Siemer are looking to bulk up their staff. Presently, there are four employees — counting the pair — with a fifth soon coming on board. Craig said they’re still hiring, giving preference to those in recovery or those living in the Emerge facility.

“A lot of the guys [at Emerge] have found themselves at rock bottom and are looking for ways to come up,” Craig said. “That’s what ‘arise’ means, here. I want to give back what the community has given me.”

Siemer added: “So, come eat! We’re open. And if you’re getting married soon, let us cater for you.”

Arise Café & Catering is located at the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative campus at 2960 W. Enon Road, in Xenia Twp. It’s open Tuesday-Friday, serving breakfast from 7–10:30 a.m. and lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m., and Saturday, serving brunch 8 a.m.–noon. The menu can be viewed at http://www.thearisecafe.com. For additional information, email contact@thearisecafe.com or call 937-609-1136.

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One Response to “Dine and shine at Arise Café”

  1. Spring Has Sprung says:

    “Thanks” for this! <15

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