Jim Ravenscroft cannot start the day without a cup of coffee. His home in York has a special island in the kitchen, exclusively for coffee.
Friday morning, Ravenscroft will help Rock Hill Galleria shoppers who must have their coffee, too.
Ravenscroft will be offering free coffee to early risers who come to shop at 6 a.m. It is only the second day his new shop, Yo Yo's, will be open for business.
"I ready don't know what to expect," Ravenscroft said Tuesday while making final preparations to open YoYo's, a self-serve yogurt shop in the mall's food court.
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Ravenscroft originally planned to open a yogurt-only shop. Mall management asked him to consider adding coffee to his menu - and then asked him to help them on Friday by offering it for free.
Ravenscroft, an out-of-work homebuilder with a background in food service, agreed.
Adding coffee is not as simple as it sounds.
Ravenscroft estimated he threw out about 50 gallons of brewed coffee, looking for the right taste. He wanted something that was smooth, not bitter. Getting the right taste meant grinding the beans coarsely and making sure the coffee was not overheated, he said.
He decided to use beans from Iron Brew Coffee, a family-owned operation in Blythewood.
Adding coffee also required additional inspection and equipment. He is hoping the investment pays off in customers, many of whom he expects will be mall employees.
Like most mall workers, Ravenscroft and his wife, Nelly, plan to arrive early on Friday - about 3 a.m. - to get ready for the rush.
Want to get a jump on shopping? Sears, Kmart, Big Lots and Walmart are among the national retailers open on Thanksgiving locally.
Check store hours for Friday. Some open just after midnight, others at 4 a.m. The anchor stores at the Rock Hill Galleria open at 4 a.m., and the remaining mall stores open at 6 a.m.
The Salvation Army's annual kettle drive starts at 10 this morning at the Galleria.
Santa Claus arrives at the Galleria at 10 a.m. Friday.
Wear comfortable shoes when you go shopping.
Staple a gift receipt to the merchandise tag in case it needs to be returned or exchanged.
Place shopping bags in your trunk or out of sight.
Source: Rock Hill Galleria, National Retail Federation