Haley Cabana used to serve coffee but now the former barista owns the business. Cabana recently opened a new Aroma Joe's franchise in south Sanford. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Haley Cabana used to serve coffee but now the former barista owns the business. Cabana recently opened a new Aroma Joe’s franchise in south Sanford. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD — When Haley Cabana first started working part time as a barista for Aroma Joe’s in Dover, New Hampshire, she figured it would be a short term gig. 

 Cabana, now 30, was 17 then and still in high school and worked for the company founded by two sets of brothers, who are cousins, after school and during the summer in their Dover and Rochester locations. In those days, the company had five locations; now, there are 54. 

Cabana, who moved to Sanford in 2008 and married Dave Cabana Jr. three years ago, is still with the company.

In fact, the woman who poured coffee for so many customers for so many years is now an owner of an Aroma Joe’s franchise.

Cabana opened Sanford’s newest coffee haven just about 12 days ago, at the busy intersection of Jagger Mill Road and Main Street — also known as Route 109. It has been a goal she has been pursuing for a couple of years.

And while her franchise is the third Aroma Joe’s in Sanford — and the are four Dunkin Donuts locations in the city, not to mention other venues where coffee is on offer —   Cabana isn’t worried that Sanford has reached its caffeine limit.

From the window of the drive-thru coffee shop, one can observe the progress on Marc Motors new dealership  — it is is fast nearing completion. She pointed out Sanford’s new high school and regional technical center will be opening soon on lower Main Street, a couple of miles away, and a new medical facility built for York Hospital is also about to open its doors.

“There’s a lot of development down here,” she said. “I think south Sanford is going to grow.”

Cabana earned her associate’s degree in  finance and marketing  from Great Bay Community College  in Portsmouth, New Hampshire  and will  earn her bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Southern New Hampshire University in two weeks.

As well as being a franchise owner, Cabana is also Director of Operations for the company for Maine and New Hampshire.

She said the company is a fun place to work, and he’d made a lot of close connections — friends she’s made at Aroma Joe’s were in her wedding, she pointed out.

She employs 15, mostly part-time workers, at her shop.

So what advice does she have for a new business owner?

“You need to be flexible, and be present in the store,  and make connections  in the community,” said Cabana. “Personality is everything. I can teach anyone to make a latte, but (employees) really need to talk to people and make that connection.” 

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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