Dawn Bongiovanni, owner and operator of DayMaker Café said the idea to create a place that girlfriends could gather and drink a cup of coffee inspired her to create a coffee shop/deli on Camden’s Court Square and it was while discussing the restaurant with a friend that the name came to fruition. Bongiovanni said, “I was telling my friend about my idea and she said that I was going to make someone’s day, that’s when the name DayMaker Café came to me.”
Next up for the business owner was to find someone that shared her vision. Bongiovanni immediately found her partner in Executive Chef, Brandon Anderson.
Anderson graduated culinary school in Knoxville in April. He was chomping at the bits to take the helm of a restaurant. He said while Camden already offers so many great dining choices, he wanted to bring a new flair to local taste buds. He started working on a menu. Bongiovanni worked on her own version of menu choices. Once the two came together to compare notes, neither could believe how similar their visions were. The duo knew that they had both made the right decision.
It took a year for DayMaker Café to open its doors. Bongiovanni said she wanted to do a “soft opening” on Friday, October 5, to ensure customers were offered a relaxing atmosphere. It also helped to work out any kinks that a new business often has during the first week. Anderson said, “We listened to our customers responses and worked on tweaking our recipes until we got everything just right.”
After just little more than a week, the DayMaker Café is up-and-running offering coffee specialties, flat bread pizzas, soups, salads, and sandwiches with names such as the “Cluck Norris” and the “Cobbler Gobbler.”
Both Bongiovanni and Anderson agree the most important aspect of their menu is that every single item is made in-house and from scratch. “We wanted everything to taste fresh and delicious,” Bongiovanni said. Adding to the freshness, the folks at DayMaker buy local when possible, including all of their salad greens from locally owned Electric Farms. “We look for everything close before buying from anywhere else,” Bongiovanni added.
The café employs 10 full and part-time employees. There is an eclectic collection of art that dances across the walls and the seating, whether it be a table for eight or a sofa setting is comfortable and inviting. The court square setting just adds to the quaint setting.
Bongiovanni said she hopes people will think of DayMaker Café as a place to relax, enjoy good food, drink delicious coffee and catch up with friends or a good book. “We will have free internet in the very near future,” she concluded. “We want this to be a place where people come to feel at home and just enjoy life.”
The DayMaker Café is located at 59 E. Lake Street on court square and the hours are: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and offer a Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.