To the Town of Wise’s newest eatery, the hiss of a steam wand and the grind of fresh espresso beans is the sound-track to a new day.
The Ugly Mug, located on 409 East Main Street at the Shoppes on Main, is just starting to make a name for itself in the caffeinated community. Greg Kress, the man behind the coffee, recently opened the shop with the help of his wife Tracy, who runs Tracy’s Salon right next door.
“Our story really starts with this picture you can see here in the shop,” Kress said.
What at first glance appears to be a beautiful sunset, is much more than that to the couple. The description of the picture, which was given to Greg several years ago, reads, “The image of Christ standing in the hand of God.”
A young man’s accident brought it back into Greg Kress’ life, he said.
“Doctors gave [the man] a one in 100 chance of surviving. And if he did survive, they said he’d be on a respirator,” Kress said. “Just out of nowhere, the Lord put it on my heart to go minister to this family, and that this kid was gonna be okay.”
Kress said he visited the family, and after five weeks the young man was up and out.
“That’s when this picture came back into my life,” Kress said. “God got into my heart that I should take out this picture again, and I’ve been leading my life with it ever since. I started writing a book, I quit my old job and I came to build this place.”
Tracy Kress said she’s excited for the shop’s possibilities.
“I can’t make coffee and Greg can’t do hair,” she said with a laugh. “I started off by myself here, working in a tiny little 12-by-12 room … now we’ve got this whole complex here, and the massage therapist and coffee shop connected. We feel really blessed.”
Selection at The Ugly Mug ranges from a standard cup of coffee to a cheesecake frappe. To go along with their java, the coffee house offers a few sweet treats like cheese danishes and red velvet cupcakes.
But even if customers don’t see what they want on the menu, Greg Kress said he is ready and willing to try new things and expand on his growing knowledge of all things coffee.
The shop is open every weekday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.