A local small business owner has plans to expand. Those plans have been slowed by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic interrupting life on a global scale, local business owners Rod and Mandy Lovan had started a project to open a second business in downtown Booneville.

The owners of Stirling Soaps enterprise are still planning to launch Stirling Roastery, but the progress has slowed.

After purchasing the former Skinner Hardware location on the east side of South Broadway, across from the soap company, the Lovans had hoped to have the roaster opened sometime in May as the first of a three phase project.

That time-frame probably won’t be possible, Rod Lovan said last week, but he is still in hopes of having the first phase finished at some point.

That phase is the northern most of what is three separate addresses. That part of the enterprise was simply the most ready to be remodeled.

The plan will include re-plastering the walls, repainting them and the ceilings, electrical work, plumbing work including restored bath rooms, all after removal everything to the floors, completing the look with etched concrete.

Also included will be new windows to allow for natural lighting.

In the back will be a large industrial coffee roaster with various bags of the green version of the beans which will end up in the roaster.

As is the case with the Lovan’s soap company, the expectation is that the majority of the company’s business will be conducted online but, as with the soap company, local sales will always be welcomed for a coffee experience unlikely to be equaled.

“I don’t expect us to do a lot of (local) business but this building is going to collapse if somebody doesn’t clean it,” said Rod. “When (a construction company) came out and looked at it they said they wouldn’t be surprised if in two years that skylight (in the middle building) doesn’t collapse.”

For the middle of the buildings, Lovan has located the company who stamped the metal ceiling tiles in the 1870s and the stamp still exists. Damaged tiles will be replaced keeping the historic feel of the building.

The skylight will be restored and the windows for both the front and the back of what will be Stirling Coffee House and Bakery will be redone to allow natural light to flow throughout.

There will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restrooms and heating and cooling added for those dining and sipping coffee.

Out front of that portion the aluminum will be removed in favor of a wood front, restoring an entryway that will allow for outside seating within a dry area besides a variety of inside seating with

The third building will also go through a renovation to include removal of the front tin to again restore natural lighting and re-pour and etch and stain the concrete.

The plan is to eventually move the roaster into the southern most building.

“Eventually we’ll move the roaster over here and my hope is by the time we have this one done we’ll need two roasters and shelves upon shelves of coffee and a forklift in here,” said Lovan. “It will still be nice. People could sit out here and watch the roaster.

“When this one is done it is going to be a beautiful building. All three of these are on the National Registry (of Historic Places). We won’t be able to put it back to where it was brand new but we’re not just patching the problem, we’re fixing it.”