Darden, also an associate professor at Sinclair Community College, has an upcoming carpal tunnel surgery.
She opened Third Perk downtown about five years ago.
Darden launched a second location, Third Perk Express, in the food court at the Dayton Mall, in August and later moved into a space previously occupied by Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden.
The Dayton Mall location will remain open as usual.
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Darden said it is important that the business ups it game, due partly to the influx of competition from newer coffee shops.
There are at least a half dozen other coffee shops within a short distance from Third Perk.
“It is a little bit disappointing,” Darden said. “There are a whole lot of fish (in the water), and we are not competing like we should be.”
She plans to hire new management and make cosmetic changes to Third Perk that include new drapes.
Darden said she is committed to making Third Perk even better. Giving up is not in the cards.
“Not today,” Darden said. “This is not the time or the place.”
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The owner of the building the business is housed in plans to make repairs to the business’ HVAC and other structural updates, Darden said.
She said she is blown away by what her coffee shop has come to mean to her customers.
“To some people, it is a place of pride. It is a gathering space for other people. It is a place where people feel welcome and safe,” she said. “It is a dope spot.”
Darden says she is already planning events for after she reopens including a BET Awards watch party in June complete with a purple carpet. The event would benefit a black girl leadership organization.