The new Rainbow Connection Café officially opened its doors on Sept. 28, extending a colorful welcome to German Street after a successful open house the previous Saturday.
After the building for the former LellyBelle café was purchased, Connie Heyer and her husband collaborated with residents Rhiannon Biedznski and David McCauley to create a plan on what they wanted this new establishment to be. The group met through Biedznski and McCauley frequenting Lilah Restaurant, owned by Heyer. From there, became friends and business partners for this eye-catching café. “We all got together and came up with a concept,” noted Biedznski. Within months, the business started to come together.
The group was interested in a business that brought people together, and it was inspired by a Muppet. One of the first things that will catch the eyes of guests as they walk in is a picture of Kermit the Frog on the back wall. When discussing the origin of the rainbow theme, McCauley remarked that “the idea was actually a play on words.” Referring to the classic song “Rainbow Connection,” the title embodies the establishment’s main theme: community.
From businesspeople to tourists, the café strives to be an environment where people can chat, study, or relax. Being in a college town, the Rainbow Connection Café hopes to be a place that is welcoming for students as well.
The establishment offers free WIFI, the option for to-go meals, and has two seating rooms, making it accessible for people just stopping by or hanging out. McCauley also pointed out that, “Almost every table in the café has a charging station on it,” allowing people to sit down and recharge. In addition, students from any institution can receive a 20% discount by showing their school id.
A primary aspect of the café is its adaptable food menu for customers of all diets. Biedznski, when discussing what influenced their ideas for food options, commented, “We just want everybody to be able to come here and get anything and not have to feel left out.”
From smoothies to sandwiches, the café can create vegan, vegetarian, keto, and gluten-friendly meals. The business also utilizes biodegradable to-go containers and recycle bins to promote environmental care in its practices.
In terms of the future and what is to come, Heyer and her business partners hope to expand the business even more. In the springtime, they plan to renovate the backyard area and turn it into an outdoor lounge, making it a primary spot for meetings or private parties.
After-hour events are also in discussion once the café has been established in Shepherdstown. “I want it to be a place that everyone in town knows who we are and feels welcomed,” said Biedznski.
Rainbow Connection Cafe is open every day except Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Rainbow Connection Café on Facebook.