Another sad evolution for the town of Jackson: The iconic Shades Cafe will be closing its doors at the end of December.
Owner Lisa Miller said the cafe has been losing money for about two years, and neither she nor other investors have the resources to continue putting money into the business. Competition from big chains like Starbucks and other coffee shops with deeper pockets has impacted Shades’ business.
An emotional Miller said the loss of Shades might serve as an example to people in town that it does matter where you spend your money — even if it’s just for a cup of coffee and muffin.
Jim Mitchell opened the cafe in 1986. Miller worked for him, then bought the cafe in 1992 and has run it as a family business. Customers nearly always see Miller or her daughter, Abbie, at the counter, and the duo also makes the cafe’s signature baked goods like wheat bran muffins and gourmet coffee cakes.
Shades was the first cafe to start serving espresso in town.