Waldo neighborhood spot has become a daily stop for many. It is closing after 10 years

The owners of Waldo favorite One More Cup are shutting it down by choice. Really.

Stacy and Jeremy Neff want a more regular schedule to spend time with their children, ages 12 and 9. They had to cancel their annual family vacation for the third time this summer because the shop was understaffed. It will close on Sept. 1 after 10 years of operations.

“Some people can’t accept that we are choosing to do this,” said Stacy Neff. “We really enjoy the people, so that makes it harder to leave. But we want to end it before we get to the point where we really dislike it. To end on a high note.”

This little mom-and-pop shop, at 7408 Wornall Road, has built a neighborhood cult-like following similar to chains such as Trader Joe’s and Shake Shack. It offers coffee drinks, smoothies, milkshakes (from mixed berry to toddy), as well as house-made quiche, bagels with such toppings as vegan cashew spread, sandwiches, Hana’s Donuts, and pastries from Bloom Baking Co. It also features local artwork.

The shop’s closing announcement on its Facebook page generated more than 300 comments and replies. The Neffs responded to each and every one of them.

Several loyal customers could only express their dismay, such as one who posted: “This is devastating!!! OMC has been an every day stop for me for the last several years and I can’t imagine my mornings or weekends without it. I’ll always remember OMC and the owners, staff, patrons, and cashew spread.”

One customer said she met her future husband there. Later, when he was ready to propose, the shop set up a special table and stayed open a little later for the couple.

And this comment from another fan: “You have run such a wonderful, local business is every way - mindful of the community, always giving back and completely welcoming! You will be missed.”

One simply said, “What a beautiful chapter in Waldo history.”

The couple, who are Waldo residents, felt the same when another beloved Waldo business, SRO Video, closed on Gregory Boulevard in 2011 after 26 years.

The Neffs typically have a staff of about 10 but they are currently down to seven employees. They gave them a month’s notice to find another job, but as an incentive they offered two weeks of additional pay for those who stay through Sept. 1.

The staff recently got coffee-themed tattoos at Irezumi Body Art next door to mark their time together.

Jeremy Neff will continue with his piano tuning and repair business, Garbanzo Brothers Music. Stacy Neff hopes to work in the non-profit sector.

“It’s exciting and a little nerve-racking,” she said.

The Neffs also own the little building with a front porch and back deck. They’ve had several people who have “always wanted to open a coffee shop” inquire about it. But the Neffs would like to sell it to someone with experience.

“We’re just so gratefully to be able to do this for as long as we did, and the outpouring from the community, not only at the end but all across the years,” Stacy Neff said.

The building previously housed Sancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Medina’s Mexican Restaurant and Waldo Coffee Cup. The Neffs opened One More Cup in 2009.

Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.