The Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Ritchie Real Estate celebrate the opening of their new Pineville branch at 3919 Highway 28 East and also held one for their next door neighbor, Khmericano Coffee.
“This is a secondary branch location for Ritchie Real Estate,” said Matt Ritchie, owner of the real estate brokerage in Alexandria. “It’s great to see a Pineville office for Ritchie Real Estate. This is our 20th year in business in Central Louisiana.”
The office will be staffed by Jennifer Byrd who also lives closer to the Pineville location than the Alexandria location so it made sense for her to have an office here, said Ritchie.
“Jennifer Byrd, who has been with us for four years, is the number one agent in the market. She just keeps breaking records and helping folks and families move and buy and sell and has just done a phenomenal job and this is the result of it,” said Ritchie.
To help celebrate the opening of the new office and Khmericano Coffee, Byrd invited high school students from some local schools for two reasons. The first one was because she invited a Louisiana Tech recruiter and her friend Sam Speed to talk to them about the school. She and her husband Warren Byrd are both La. Tech graduates, and the school was a big part of their journey.
“I always try to spread the La. Tech love,” said Byrd who majored in business.
The second reason was because she wanted the students to see entrepreneurship at work so they can appreciate the monumental risk that business owners, like Khmerican Coffee owners Kristen and Bebe Leang, take just to serve them a cup of coffee.
Khmericano Coffee, owned by Kristen and Bebe Leang, has been open since June and recently expanded their shop to include a seating area, study room and playroom.
The Leangs started Khmericano Coffee as a coffee truck that was a converted horse trailer before making their dream of opening a brick-and-mortar a reality.
“They are the most incredible people that you will ever meet. They have such a passion for life, for God, and for serving other people and, just to give you a spirit of a wonderful joy over a cup of coffee,” said Carlina Rika, a customer and friend. “And every time you come in, you can’t meet them without a beautiful smile, and they will go out of their way just to make you feel welcome. I keep coming back and coming back not for business just, but because I love them as a couple.”
Dupree told them that it was a great accomplishment in going from a food truck to a standing location.
“We have another success story just up the road with Jim Deggy’s. He started as a food truck in a vehicle that a military vehicle that he converted for that purpose and that the demand for that became such that he had to move into a brick-and-mortar location. Same thing here. So I’m glad that two very successful food truck entrepreneurs now call Pineville home,” said Dupree.
“I’d like to mention that we’re in Pineville a lot lately and what a great thing that is. There’s so much happening. And I think we’re going to keep cutting ribbons on this side of the river,” said Chamber president Deborah Randolph.