Arise Cafe under new management/ownership


XENIA — It’s not every day that someone is given the opportunity to take over ownership and management of a local restaurant.

But that recently happened for Yellow Springs native Shaun Craig.

The founders of Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative have announced the 48-year-old is now in charge of their restaurant on the Emerge campus — Arise Cafe, in hopes of having him take it into a new direction. A longtime resident of the community who is currently in long-term recovery, Craig has lived in Yellow Springs most of his life. He brings more than 30 years of restaurant management experience to the table.

“I was working in the men’s housing unit as a housing monitor,” Craig said. “I was also managing a restaurant in downtown Dayton. I knew Emerge co-founder Kip Morris in the past from when I managed restaurants in Yellow Springs. Kip expressed that he was looking for a change at the restaurant. He asked if I was interested in taking ownership and operating it.”

Presented with the opportunity, Craig said he gave it lots of thought.

“I reviewed numbers and contemplated for a while and meditated upon it and decided this is what I want to do,” he said. “That was around the end of December and early this year. I had been saving money prior to this and now I know what I was saving for. I was saving to take this business in a new direction.”

Stepping into the role as assistant manager at Arise is Craig’s longtime friend and former coworker, chef Jake Siemer.

“We’ve known each other for at least 12 years,” Craig said. “We are revamping the menu. There will be a slow process in the coming months of adding new items. Then, the menu will be continuously updated over the years. Immediate changes include the addition of several new sandwiches. We will also be adding some breakfast items and expanding the hours of operation.”

Staying true to the original intended purpose of Arise, Craig said they hope to hire people completing programming at Emerge and continue the business’s tradition of being a second-chance employer.

“We also hope to provide employment for those in substance abuse or addiction recovery and to cater to the culinary needs of Yellow Springs, Xenia, Fairborn and surrounding areas with more of an emphasis on delivery,” Craig said. “We start our seven days a week with new hours. Previously, we were only open Tuesday through Saturday. Now we are open seven days a week.”

The new hours for Arise are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

Arise is described as a “a small brunch-and-lunch joint” located at 2960 W. Enon Road, in Xenia Township.

The primary interest in having Craig take the helm at Arise was due to the financial outlook of the restaurant and Craig’s extensive background in restaurant management.

Craig said he and Siemer both have “run the gamut” in working at most Yellow Springs restaurants over the years; they first met at Peach’s more than 10 years ago. Most recently, they worked together at Calypso Grill and Smokehouse with Craig running the front-of-house, and Siemer in the kitchen serving as chef. The pair bring their skills to Arise in similar fashion.

Siemer said he and Craig know how to run a business and how to be creative.

That creativity will soon come in handy, and will be welcomed at Emerge, according to the founders. In addition to those immediate plans to revamp Arise Café’s menu — which, up until recently, mostly features typical Americana breakfast fare, wraps and sandwiches — to include more elaborate cuisine and specials such as their new French toast stuffed with homemade vanilla cream cheese and blueberry compote.

Additionally, Craig said he hopes to soon offer delivery to Fairborn, Xenia and Yellow Springs — and anywhere else within an eight-mile radius of the restaurant — to strengthen the catering side of the business.

“The goal is to also be more accessible for the recovery community,” Craig said. “We could have evening meetings and gatherings here in the near future.”

Also in the near future, Craig said they hope to begin hiring again — giving preference to those in recovery or those living in the Emerge facility and/or completing the program at Emerge.

“A lot of the guys here at Emerge have hit rock bottom and are looking for ways to come up,” he said. “That’s what ‘arise’ means, here. We want to give back what the community has so freely community given to us.”

Craig, who himself is in recovery with 15 months of sobriety, said helping others in early recovery has been an integral part of his own recovery.

“I knew about Emerge while it was being designed in its early stages,” he said. “Once I got back into recovery and decided I wanted to work in the field, I reached out to become a housing monitor and that’s how I got to Emerge. I worked for a few months as a housing monitor in the men’s space when this opportunity came up and I took it.”

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