Witches Brew builds thriving business in Morristown

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

witches brew

The seating area of Witches Brew is brightened by colorful couches, and family friendly board games are available for customers to play.

Witches Brew has established a unique presence in the Jordan’s Place shopping center in Morristown, drawing in fans of luncheon fare as well as gourmet coffees and teas.

The luncheon fare includes a variety of sandwiches, including the popular four cheese Panini and a wide range of hot and iced coffees and green and chai teas.

The café has been up and going for nearly six months, run by owners Forrest Heaton and Tamitha Morgan and featuring baker Jessica Escobales.

Heaton and Morgan are first time entrepreneurs, and both were admittedly “scared to death” prior to the opening of the business.

“We were upholstering furniture at 4:30 a.m. just before we opened,” Morgan said.

But they need not have worried. Customers have found a comfortable place to enjoy both a meal and conversation; the interior reflects the eclectic design styles of both owners, inspirational quotes included.

“It took a lot of hard work and determination, but it has turned out to be just what we wanted,” Morgan said.

Don’t be fooled by the décor, however; Heaton and Morgan didn’t forget to take down Halloween items — “This is our regular stuff,” Heaton said.

The business partners and friends of 10 years, both enjoy things that are “creepy good” and often set up spontaneous photo shoots, with friend and photographer Ashley Lodge of Aurora Productions. Their favorite television series, no surprise, is “Walking Dead.”

Trust is a big part of going into business together, and Heaton and Morgan had no qualms about testing their friendship that has developed over the past 10 years.

“We’ve evolved from friends into family now,” Morgan said.

Their open and friendly natures enable customers to feel at home with the first visit.

James Colyer began stopping by not too long after Witches Brew opened. His favorite drink to date is the Black Cherry Italian crème soda. He has other favorites, too, including the specialty brownie with a particularly flirty name.

“They’re so good, you feel naughty,” Colyer said.

Colyer said the café’s ability to build its customer base over a relatively short period of time is related to their attitude toward both running a business and treating their customers.

“They have really good personalities. They treat you like a member of the family,” Colyer said. “You can stay as long as you want. They don’t push you out the door.”

Sweet Treats offered by the Witches Brew include Escobales’ cinnamon bread, with a generous cream cheese filling generously spread across the top; the pumpkin bar, dense with flavor; and the strawberry dreamscicle cake, with a picture posted on Facebook.

“I started out just baking for my family and then took lessons at Hobby Lobby,” she said.

Escobales’ favorite items to bake include breads and creative cakes — “The wackier, the better,” she said. “I’ve done minions, a haunted house and ‘Si’ from ‘Duck Dynasty,’ beard and all.”

Witches Brew hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The café is located at 3606 West Andrew Johnson Hwy. For more information, call 423-289-1575.

- By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer

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