There’s a common perception that operating a small coffee shop “is a woman’s dream,” Sandy Duan observed from behind the counter at her Short Stop Cafe on Loomis Street Tuesday afternoon.
“But you have to share the experience, the challenges you have, with the same dream,” she laughed.
Short Stop will permanently close Friday.
“Business is very good. Everything’s nice,” Duan acknowledged. But she added that she is tired and needs “a break.” One of her children is off to college; another is in fourth grade. Her husband, she said, is often away on business.
“It has been very hard the past two years,” she commented. “I can’t find the balance between family and career.”
Short Stop Cafe opened in April 2017 at The Crossing at Bedford, the mixed-use complex on Loomis Street, steps from the Minuteman Bikeway. The menu has always featured a wide range of Belgian waffles and homemade baked goods, along with coffee and cold drinks.
In February 2020, after redecorating the shop, Duan traveled to Shanghai to care for her ailing father. She returned home the following month, with commercial activity at a standstill because of Covid-19. The cafe eventually reopened more than a year later, on May 4, 2021.
Duan and her family have been Bedford residents for more than 15 years, and she said she is looking forward to volunteer involvement. “That’s what I really want to do,” she declared, adding that there may be some homemade waffles available on Bedford Day, where “I can say ‘hello’ to everybody.”
“Everybody has been a part of my business,” she said, and that’s a great feeling. “I’m very comfortable living in this town.”
Duan owns the space, and she is working with a broker on possibilities for its future. She looked around and said, “This has been a good memory for me.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763