TNT Diner

One coffee family is taking over for another at that spot in Old Town

An espresso drink awaits its customer with an artistic leaf pattern made by Markee co-owner Courtney Marshall.
An espresso drink awaits its customer with an artistic leaf pattern made by Markee co-owner Courtney Marshall. Staff file, 2016

Your eyes are not playing tricks. The Old Town coffee house MarKee really did morph into Anthem overnight.

The space was closed one day this week as the business changed ownership.

“It happened so fast, it was crazy,” said Angie Keefe, who opened MarKee in Old Town with business partner Courtney Marshall in November 2016.

The relationship between Anthem Coffee and Tea, which operates coffee houses in Puyallup and Tacoma, dates to when Marshall and the owners of Anthem both operated separate Forza coffee cafes. They struck up a friendship while transitioning their cafes to independent coffee houses.

“Courtney reached out to my mom through a message,” said Bryan Reynolds, owner of Anthem with his parents Janie and Larry Reynolds and his wife, Alicia Reynolds. The MarKee owners wanted to know whether the Anthem owners were interested in taking over the space.

They were.

It took three weeks from that message until Anthem opened Wednesday in Old Town. Anthem’s coffee and dining menu have been imported and the cafe will continue hosting events. The Anthem decor also has been added, including more reclaimed wood from Tacoma’s Earthwise Architectural Salvage.

Keefe and Marshall needed to downsize their business to accommodate their family lives. The business partners were juggling five children under the age of eight while trying to manage evening events at their Gig Harbor and Old Town coffee cafes.

“Something had to give,” said Keefe.

They decided to focus on their first coffee house, Gig Harbor MarKee.

“Gig Harbor is getting really busy, which is really, really great, but it kept pulling us away. It’s a bigger shop and it needs us there,” said Keefe.

At the same time, the Reynolds family has been steadily growing its business. Construction is underway for a University Place Anthem.

A Stadium neighborhood Anthem will open next year.

The owners of both cafes came together Wednesday on Anthem’s first day of business. Marshall and Keefe had a fundraising event scheduled for Lowell Elementary PTA. Nobody wanted to cancel it. The owners of both businesses decided to host the event together.

Reynolds’ staff handled the food while Marshall and Keefe ran the event.

“This was a true example of how we all like to do business,” said Keefe.

Anthem Coffee and Tea Old Town

Where: 2312 N. 30th St., Tacoma; 253-302-5387; myanthemcoffee.com.

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