Business Matters: Spotlight on Leah's Korner Kafe

Owner Leah Fogle is pictured on the left, and Manager Brandy Beckner is pictured on the right. (Photo provided)

Owner Leah Fogle is pictured on the left, and Manager Brandy Beckner is pictured on the right. (Photo provided)

Leah Fogle, 46, owns Leah’s Korner Kafe in downtown Coleman. She calls it “a little family restaurant.” It’s located at the corner of Railway and 4th Streets, a restaurant has been in that location for much of Coleman’s history. Leah has nine employees. She’s married to Chris Fogle, who works in the oil fields. She has two sons. A Unionville native, Leah has lived in Coleman for 18 years

1. How long have you owned your business?

It will be eight years this month.

2. What inspired you to own this business?

The owner that had it, Brad Haller, had brain cancer and then passed away. I was the manager. I had a lot of older staff who worked here. I was worried they wouldn’t have a job. I couldn’t get a loan. I was a single mom on assistance, but a loan officer in Clare helped me apply one more time. They set a lot of conditions for five years. We’ve met them. This is like my whole family. I’m so lost without them.

3. What makes Coleman a great place to own a business?

The people here are really supportive. It’s like a tight knit family. Everybody has each other’s backs.

4. What are some ways your business is active in the local community?

We’re giving back free food to people in need or anyone in general. I think everybody is struggling right now. It doesn’t have to be financial. For our high school seniors, we’re doing an “Adopt A Senior, ” send a card and show them support. We’re also a sponsor of the car show.

5. What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I read a lot. Send a lot of cards. I spend a lot of time here. These people are like family. I don’t think, until all of this, that I realized how much they mean to me and we do to all of them. Also spend a lot of time with my kids.

6. What are some local businesses you work with that help make your business a success?

We host business meetings. R.B Harsh does our snow removal. Old Brick Bakery and Coffeehouse makes our dinner rolls and homemade bread. Work with the city. Working with the fire department on the free meals (offering). They started the free meal program. Members of the fire department, not the city, donated the money and now others are donating, too. So honored they chose me to work with.

Other business have been so supportive. We try to support them. We even order food from other restaurants. (About) 85% of my business was sit down. It’s been huge to go to just take-out.

7. Other thoughts?

Just want to thank our customers and the community for all the support they’ve given me. They mean the world to me. I’d be closed without their support.