S.P. OKs plans for Jetport Plaza coffee shop

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Members of the Planning Board on Tuesday approved the site plan for a new coffee shop in Jetport Plaza. 

The plan details the construction of a 650-square-foot Aroma Joe’s Coffee to be built at 429 Western Ave. The building will offer drive-through service only, and will be situated on the existing front parking lot, near the southwest entrance from Western Avenue. Thirty-five parking spaces that will be displaced will be relocated behind the Jetport Plaza Staples store.

The city’s Department of Planning and Development collaborated with the state to analyze the potential traffic impact of the shop, but found little, according to department Director Tex Haeuser. DOT traffic approval is expected within the week, he said.

Construction will include the excavation of a new foundation, installation of a floor slab, paving changes to the building space and utility infrastructure extensions. Impact on storm-water facilities is not anticipated.   

Ross Pray, one of the four business partners for the project, explained that the appeal of Aroma Joe’s is a “personal touch.” At the coffee shop’s branch in Sanford, Pray said, baristas and customers are on a first-name basis. While the company is looking to expand upon its 29 southern Maine and New Hampshire locations, maintaining that appeal is important, he said. 

Pray said that he expects to employ about 10 baristas.

“We’re very excited,” Pray said. ”We’re very hopeful that this is going to be a good thing for all of us.”

Lily O’Gara can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or logara@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @lilyog28.