Cafe brings food and friendship to the table

Sherry Dee Allen and Scott Evans of Java Table are moving forward with their plan to offer customers healthy food options and a social space in downtown Princeton.

Java Table was created to bring community members to the table and indulge in coffee drinks and coffee talk.

Sherry Dee Allen and Scott Evans opened the cafe in September last year. Relocating and moving back to her hometown is how Allen got inspired to propagate the cafe idea.

Allen and Evans previously worked together at Adams Breezy Hills Farm and Restaurant. In cooking and managing together, Allen and Evans encouraged each other to elevate one another.

The two spent time together and were friends in Princeton before they moved to larger cities and other states as adults. They now find themselves approaching Java Table’s first anniversary on Sept. 21.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with what we have,” Evans said. “We’re in the process of figuring out exactly what we want to do.”

Allen and Evans work every day and are the only employees. They said they understand the workforce is undergoing dramatic and unpredictable changes but would like to bring in additional employees to supply customers with a larger menu.

“It’s always been our goal to be a gift to the community and to provide a place where people can come and be comfortable,” Allen said.

The “people over product” principle Allen and Evans authenticated is an attitude they want their space to illustrate.

“We really do genuinely want to give people healthy food, it’s people over product,” Allen said.

During a lockdown year in 2020, Allen had the opportunity to recalibrate and re-envision what the next chapter of her life may look like. While at home, she practiced social distancing and frequently gathered with friends and family at the dinner table to share food and ministry.

With the reintroduction to communal dining and what it had to offer, Allen aspired to recreate a space that entertains, teaches and provides food.

During a drive downtown and reminiscing on the heritage of Princeton, she said a sign spoke to her. She said her faith in God led her to call and inquire about a space next to the Joshua Tree Boutique.

“This was a situation that came up where I had a reason to come home, it was timing,” Allen said.

Supporting local farmers and vendors is another principle they practice.

Allen and Evans are beginning to offer breakfast and lunch items. Acai and Buddha bowls, veggie cups, and biscuit bites provide customers healthy food options on the go, they said.

Allen and Evans noted the food culture in Princeton is limited. They believe the community can work to improve dining experiences and build a new dining landscape.

Java Table is located at 112 East Court Square across from the courthouse. They are open for business on Saturday during the Black Patch Heritage Festival.