Marine Corps pilot opens cafe, creperie with 'European feel, southern charm'
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Phil Goebel has a lot going on, but the new cafe and creperie he's opening in Habersham keeps things simple.
"You focus on a couple (of) key items and build everything around them," he said.
The complicated part is that Goebel -- with the help of an efficient team -- is opening Lazy Susan's on Sunday, even though he is based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The grand opening and ribbon cutting will be 9 a.m.
"Here's what I recommend not doing," he said, only half joking. "Don't open a coffee shop and move to another state."
Goebel, a pilot, had been stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for three and a half years. He bought the live-work space at 31 A Market St., and decided Habersham needed a little cafe. His brother and sister-in-law own a 120-seat creperie in Ohio, so he followed their lead.
However, in May he got orders to be in North Carolina by July 1.
"I knew it was going to happen; I had no clue it was going to happen at the exact time I tried to open this place," he laughed.
With any luck, Goebel will be stationed in Beaufort again after the year at Lejeune is up -- and become a little more hands-on with the business. In the meantime, he commutes on the weekends whenever he can and relies on his "all-star" team of friends and employees.
The cozy, little coffee shop and restaurant brings together Goebel's military background -- Susan is his call sign -- and reflects the cafes he visited while abroad.
"I kind of wanted to do something that brought a little bit of European feel with southern charm," he said.
Along with coffees, espressos, teas, and savory and sweet crepes, Lazy Susan's will also have biscuits and gravy on the weekends, thanks to a family recipe mastered by Sara Couto.
Couto and Jaclyn Dicks, one of the women helping Goebel run the cafe, sipped tea Friday as they talked about how the business came together.
"It's been his dream and it's been really fun to watch it all come together," Dicks said. "... There's been a lot of heart and soul and friendship put into it."