WAXAHACHIE — A Cedar Hill home-away-from-home coffee shop is prepared to expand with its second location and first in Waxahachie.
White Rhino Coffee will add yet another distinctive flare to the Waxahachie coffee scene with its newest shop on Main Street.
“We want to add value to Waxahachie and bring another quality option to consumers. We really believe that the community can support a quality, independent coffee shop, like White Rhino,” expressed Chris Parvin, owner of White Rhino Coffee.
Everything from signature lattes and espressos to breakfast parfaits and pastries, White Rhino is aiming to be a one-of-a-kind destination spot for the Gingerbread City.
“There are a million chain restaurants, like Starbucks, and options you can find anywhere, but how we add value to a community is we make the city more unique. Not every town has a White Rhino, and one of the things we’ve really seen is that we’re a destination-type restaurant,” Parvin explained.
Welcoming visitors and tourists driving as far as Dallas, Arlington, and Mansfield, the Cedar Hill location is a customary gem that passerby’s frequently traverse through.
“When you come, it’s either because you’ve enjoyed something about our products, or space, or people there, so we try to create the perfect intersection of awesome products, great service, and cool space that you want to hang out in,” Parvin acknowledged about the out-of-town foot traffic. “The hope is, when we put one in Waxahachie, we’ll see a lot of people coming to Waxahachie to enjoy some coffee and go shop in other shops, and know about other restaurants in town, and come and enjoy the community."
Becoming familiar with Waxahachie at an early start, Parvin, an alumnus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, has held a special place in his heart for the community.
“I went to SAGU years and years ago, and so I used to live in Waxahachie, and I’m a fan of the town, and I’ve always liked it,” explained Parvin of his attachment to Ellis County. The business owner also noted he regularly attends The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak. “We’ve always kept an eye on Waxahachie, and I love the town for a lot of reasons. It’s a family-values town, and it’s one that is growing. It’s not a big city, and there are a lot of things to love about Waxahachie. For us, I always felt like it was the next step in the evolution of the White Rhino and we’re excited to join the community."
Though the White Rhino’s beginning was a rough start in the middle of a recession in 2008, Parvin’s journey has turned out to be one of determined triumph.
“We’ve been open for about nine years, and we’ve had some up’s and down’s at the beginning, and just soldiered through. We opened a restaurant in a recession, and that was challenging to do because most ‘mom and pop’ restaurants could probably not have fought through some of the financial challenges of that recession,” Parvin recollected the arduous economy. “When the economy goes bad, a lot of people stop going out to eat or get a cup of coffee. We’re scrappy and fought through it and tried to make wise financial decisions. We’re doing pretty good now, and we’re really excited about our expansion."
Working through the rollercoaster of financial distresses, the White Rhino offers what no other mega franchise can - a home-like place focused on community connectivity.
“It’s unique; it’s a coffee house, and the thing is, people will go to a strip shopping center, but there’s something special about having a location that’s standalone,” Parvin mentioned in relation to the positive feedback from the Cedar Hill community. “There are a lot of layers to it but it’s a unique community space, not to just serve coffee, but it’s there so people can have their own experiences with space."
Estimated to open later this year, the Cedar Hill establishment is adding to its branches of success and rooting its comfortable environment in a district that Parvin has had his eye on.
Around 5,000 square feet, the 121-year-old Gingerbread home stands in the midst of a rich historical heritage, one of which caught Parvin’s eye unexpectedly.
“We’ve had our eye out in Waxahachie for a little while, and initially thought we wanted to be on the Square, so we looked around, and there was some availability, but we didn’t find anything that would be perfect for our customers,” Parvin explained. “So we were down there about four or five months ago, and I had a team of people who work with me on this kind of stuff, and so we drove around and came upon the Bonny Nook Inn and saw the for sale sign,.
“Right then and there, the couple who owned the Bonny Nook were gracious enough to let us do a walk through, and we started envisioning a little bit. We saw a lot of potential for it, and we just loved it.”
Though the property is in need of updates and a contemporary facelift, Parvin is determined to keep the historical value of the home intact.
“We’re going to preserve it as much as we can. We feel a responsibility to make sure that we are not altering or changing this beautiful home that’s been there for 120 years or so. We’re going to end up spending more money than we normally spend, but we just think it’s worth the investment,” Parvin stated. “I will say that putting any commercial use in will obviously require upgrades, but we think we can improve the house in ways that will make it safe and useful for the community, our business, and also preserve the heritage of it."
Working with local contractors with expertise in historical restoration and a team of talented designers, the appearance of the Main Street house is soon to be a social attraction.
“We have people we’re working with that will be sensitive to the context of what we’re working with. We’re going to make sure it’s done the right way,” Parvin assured the integrity of the home.
Hoping for a smooth remodeling process, Parvin is optimistic that the grand opening will be announced late summer 2017.
“We’re underway right now. It’s going to be a while. The remodel will take some months. We own the house now, and we’ve purchased the home and property right behind us," Parvin said. “We’re asking the city to help us and plan our spaces for adequate parking and safe mobility, and we’re working with the property owners around us. The bottom line is, we’ve got some work to do on that front, and I’m going to guess late summer before we’re ready to nail down a specific open date."
With an overwhelming response of support from customers of Ellis County and Dallas County, Parvin expressed his excitement for the new opportunity in a welcoming town by stating, “We are looking at this as a blessing to join the Waxahachie community."
To connect with White Rhino Coffee, visit whiterhinocoffee.com or call (972)-293-7361.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer