Java Me Up is tucked next to the lobby of the Valley Ranch Library in Irving, and business is booming at the cozy coffee shop, according to owners Patricia Ward and Scott Bowditch. Most library coffee shops are struggling. The Java Me Up has been thriving since it opened in 2007. Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce president Chris Wallace goes there almost every weekend. “It is a quaint, eclectic, neighborhood environment,” Wallace said. “It has excellent homemade food and pastries, gourmet coffees and teas — and they know your name.” Ward’s forte is pastries. “Working in bakeries and candy shops in Hawaii started it all,” she said. Talent and timing helped her quickly move up the culinary ranks. After five years at the Four Seasons in Irving, Ward left to start Java Me Up. But she didn’t know much about coffee. That’s where Bowditch comes in. “He introduced me to the coffee and beverage side,” Ward said about her boyfriend, who is from Seattle. Irving leases the space to them. The only restriction is the shop has to be open during library hours. As the couple became familiar with their diverse clientele, they adjusted their menu accordingly. Since north Irving has a large population of Indian Americans, “we added masala tea,” Ward said. “And some said it was as good as at home.” Sandwiches are served on Hawaiian sweetbread. Empanadas, banana bread and chicken salad sandwiches are customer favorites. The food isn’t the only draw. When the weather is nice, there is often entertainment on an outdoor patio that overlooks a river walk. Ward and Bowditch said they get plenty of regulars, including those who work just up north at Cowboys headquarters. The café also has garnered attention from television networks. HGTV filmed part of an episode there for realty reality TV show My First Place. Country Music Television used the café’s patio for its Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders show.

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