SPRUCE PINE – DT’s Blue Ridge Java has been in downtown Spruce Pine for 17 years. Owners David and Tricia Niven have toyed with the notion of selling their business in the past, but recently made a decision that is quite the opposite: they bought the building.
The Niven’s purchased the Wylie Building, in which their business is located, earlier this year from former building owners David Wylie and Cynthia Nash.
“We got an offer 13 years ago to sell the business and didn’t do it,” David said. “Then, over the past few years, we had thought about selling it again because when we started this, we had a 10-to-15-year plan, and it was up. But then we realized if we do, we have to do something else to earn an income. So, we decided to not only stay but to become downtown property owners.”
David said buying the building has several advantages. It allows for minimal changes concerning tenants, keeps the building owned by local residents with the best interest of the local economy in mind as well as gives him and Tricia a time frame for knowing when they may start looking at retiring.
“The scenario presented itself and the stars aligned for us for buying this building,” David said. “It has its quirks, and it’s old, but it’s almost at full occupancy, and we’ll have more spaces coming open soon. We want to improve on what David and Cynthia have done. They put a lot of effort and time into improving and maintaining this building.”
The main reason the Niven’s have backed off from selling the business on several occasions and ultimately decided to buy the building is the confidence created by DT’s loyal customer base, David said.
“We have great clientele here, and we are very fortunate to have our customers,” he said. “We have been downtown for 17 years, and we have had many of the same customers from day one. It’s those people that have made us want to stay. We’ve got a good thing going and a good business. But, it was time for a second phase. Our goal is to make this building as good as we can by constantly improving it.”