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Comings & Goings: Commuters enjoy Harry’s Cafe for 35 years

While Harry's Cafe owner Harry Buenger pours customers a choice of mild or dark roast, wife Kathy supplies the de-cafs, iced coffees and hot chocolates from inside their mobile truck at the Naperville train station. They have serving commuters since 1978.  |  Daina Saleh~For Sun-Times Media
Naperville couple Kathy and Harry Buenger have been handing out coffee from their mobile coffee truck, Harry's Cafe, from 4:30 to 8:30 a.m. every weekday morning for 35 years.  |  Daina Saleh~For Sun-Times Media

Facts

This Week Harry’s Cafe Where: Naperville Metra train station, Naperville Call: 630-978-1252 Facebook: Harry’s Cafe Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday Achieving Solutions Counseling Where: 608 S. Washington St., suite 207, Naperville Call: 630-632-4060 (confidential) Email: Dearcounselorkim@achievingsolutionscounseling.com Web: achievingsolutionscounseling.com Hours: By appointment only Sleepy’s Where: 376 S. Route 59, Naperville Call: 630-305-7190 Web: www.sleepys.com Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Early-morning commuters to the Metra train station near downtown know Harry’s Cafe. The mobile truck has been selling coffee and other delights for more than three decades to bleery-eyed travelers.

“We just celebrated our 35-year anniversary,” says Kathy Buenger, co-owner and wife of Harry Buenger, who started Harry’s Cafe in 1978.

“We serve hot and iced coffee year around, including tea and hot chocolate,” Kathy says. “Bakery items, we recently partnered with DeEtta’s Bakery in Naperville to provide us with fresh baked goods on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Commuters walk up, greet Harry and Kathy, ask about Harry’s back issues, drop exact change into a simple plastic container, get handed their usual coffee, and move on.

“We know so many of them by name, their story,” adds Harry, just as he hands a customer a 16 -ounce coffee with hazelnut flavor merely confirming the order via eye contact.

It’s a cash business only. Customers know what they want and have the exact change for their usual coffee fix ready. Harry doesn’t need to double check.

“Anything but cash holds our customers up and us,” Kathy snickers.

And trust has served them all these years.

Harry’s uncle Babe started the idea of a mobile truck in 1963 and enticed the help of his nephew as the business, and Naperville, was growing.

Harry Buenger then brought in wife Kathy, and they have not missed a day serving the Naperville community yet, rain or shine ... snow or sleet. Harry’s Cafe is there from 4:30 to 8:30 a.m. weekdays, handing out about 22 gallons of coffee daily.

Participate in their annual Toys For Tots drive through Dec. 6 by dropping new and unwrapped toys or monetary donations off at their truck.

New counseling practice

Therapist Kimberly Groll, of Naperville, opened her own practice, Achieving Solutions Counseling, on Nov. 1 at 608 S. Washington St., suite 207.

“It’s been a dream 10 years in the making,” says Groll, who worked relentlessly at getting her degrees and an array of credentials to fulfill her goal of servicing the Naperville community.

Groll is a certified anger management, alcohol and drug and crisis counselor, and also a licensed clinical professional counselor who believes in building a lasting relationship with her clients.

“I individualize and personalize sessions,” says Groll who sees patients of all ages starting with adolescence. “I do not treat children as I believe they need to see someone specialized for them. ...Not their GP, but someone licensed and certified for children.”

Paying special attention to a therapist’s credentials is the most important task at finding the right counselor, she advises.

Achieving Solutions Counseling treats individual, group, couples or family needs. Sessions are available by appointment only, weekdays, evenings and even weekends.

Groll is also working on two projects, a book coming out at the end of this year and a documentary, to educate, address and remove the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Mattress store opens

On Aug. 20 Sleepy’s, Mattress Professionals, opened their Naperville location at 376 S. Route 59, banking on the high-traffic area.

“We are new in town and want the visibility of this great location,” says Sam Khan, regional vice president of sales for the Midwest division. He oversees the more than 20 Chicago-area locations.

“We offer not just one or two brands. We have all the top mattress brands,” he says.

Khan goes on to explain the shop’s trademark that originated in New York in 1957 and is still privately held with more than 900 locations nationwide.

Sleepy’s promises a wide selection of brands and highly trained employees who guide customers through the selection process of their preferred mattress style.

“They (future employees) go through what we like to call ‘Sleepy’s University — a full month of 9-to-5 training with homework assignments,” Khan says.

“It’s about the quality of life.”

Know of a business coming to or leaving Naperville? Contact Daina Saleh at dainasunbiz@gmail.com.

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Facts

This Week Harry’s Cafe Where: Naperville Metra train station, Naperville Call: 630-978-1252 Facebook: Harry’s Cafe Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday Achieving Solutions Counseling Where: 608 S. Washington St., suite 207, Naperville Call: 630-632-4060 (confidential) Email: Dearcounselorkim@achievingsolutionscounseling.com Web: achievingsolutionscounseling.com Hours: By appointment only Sleepy’s Where: 376 S. Route 59, Naperville Call: 630-305-7190 Web: www.sleepys.com Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
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