Mother-Daughter Duo Honors Teen’s Dream by Opening Ripon Café

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RIPON -- At Austin's Coffee Crafters, Ripon's newest café, they're serving up more than just good java.

“When folks come through our doors, we really want them to feel as if they're a part of our family,” said co-owner Kristie Tate.

For co-owners and mother-daughter duo Kristie Tate and Alexus Kearney, that sense of family is important after tragedy struck just two years ago.

Austin Peterson, just 15 years old and a high school freshman at the time, was hit and killed by a commuter train while riding a bike with a friend near his home.

“When somebody passes you always think about how they passed rather than kind of how their life was. And it's something we always think about Austin on daily basis now that his name is there and it's always a positive," Kearney said.

Through Austin's death came to life a dream he shared with his older sister.

“Him and his sister used to always talk about opening up a cool community space,” Tate explained. “When things like that happen, your perspective changes on life, and so I just wanted to make their dream happen.”

Austin's Coffee Crafters opened its doors in the new Terrazza Shopping Center just two weeks ago. They sold more than 50 pounds of coffee in the first two days.

The café and the owners have been embraced by the community they now serve.

“It's wonderful to have such great community support and have something positive come out of losing Austin versus just dealing with the loss,” Tate said. “We've been able to create a wonderful memory of him.”

For Tate and Kearney it's more than a business. Each cup of coffee or handmade treat served up is a tiny tribute to a son and brother whose memory lives on at Austin's.

“Knowing that life is short, so we would love for folks to create memories here in this space,” Tate said.

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