Leaders’ Corner Coffee & Tea opens in Columbiana

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, January 12, 2022

By SASHA JOHNS | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – A new addition has made its way to the heart of Shelby County in Columbiana offering your fix of coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and more.

Sitting on the corner of College and Main streets, Leaders’ Corner Coffee & Tea promises to be a great addition to an already charming town.

“I want to break every rule that can be broken in the favor of customer service,” said Bob Kuehner, owner of the new coffee shop.

The name for this new addition to the Main Street family pays homage to the former Columbiana Leader department store that existed in the same space for the better part of a century.

Kuehner has taken pains to honor the history of the building and preserve as much of the original structure as possible, which ads a special charm behind the beautifully restored wooden floors and rustic brick wall that faces College Street.

Originally purchased to be a hub for his other business, the School for Amazing Kids, which is a local chain of daycare centers, Kuehner came up with the idea to keep his home offices in the back and open a coffee shop in the front.

“I was always doing business in coffee shops anyway,” he said. “So why not just open my own?”

An experienced businessman, Kuehner has purposefully taken the long road to this new venture, making sure that he and his team have the best chance at success.

He’s taken time to build a partnership with his chosen coffee provider that promises him not only a high-quality product that customers will love but also ensures a fair business deal to the farmers that grow and produce the coffee.

Leaders’ Corner, now open with a small but growing menu, has already cultivated favorites with the locals, with items like their signature Myra’s Magic Sugar Cookies and the Spicy Shelley panini sandwich. As they learn more about the needs and tastes of their customers, the menu will grow.

Much of this growth will be fostered by Kuehner’s operating partner, Tiffany Patrick, who will be the face of the business to the coffee shop customers. Tiffany and her crew will take care of the day-to-day customer service and operations of the shop.

Even though the regular hours for the shop are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Patrick hopes to build her patronage not only through walk-in business but by being open to all kinds of groups in town from book clubs to church groups when they need her to be open. She particularly has a heart for young people.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the community,” she said. “I want us to become involved with the youth in town and provide a safe place where parents are comfortable letting their kids hang out, knowing that they’ll be looked after and fed both literally and spiritually.”

In fact, pouring into the community for Leaders’ Corner means more than just filling coffee cups. Kuehner leads a small church congregation called Life Christian Fellowship that will meet in the shop on Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.

“The coffee shop won’t be ‘open’ on Sundays, but folks are still welcome to come by and get a cup and stay awhile every Sunday,” he offered.

Kuehner and Patrick hope locals from all over stop by and introduce themselves. For questions or to schedule a special event, call 205-620-1700 or email Tiffany Patrick at tiffany@leaderscorner.coffee.