Tredwell Coffee temporarily closing in Aurora and Wheaton

·3 min read

Tredwell Coffee is temporarily closing its Aurora and Wheaton sites, with owner Chad Dawes saying he can no longer afford to stay in business without help from the community.

Wednesday was the final day at the two locations before the temporary closure began.

Dawes’ wife, Sarah, said Tredwell was hit with four gut punches - the pandemic, high-interest loans the business took out to stay open, the rising cost of goods and lastly her husband’s health struggles.

Chad Dawes created a GoFundMe Tuesday afternoon asking for $200,000 to support Tredwell’s downtown Aurora and Wheaton locations. More than $12,000 was raised as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.

Dawes is now at home recovering from surgery last week. He said he is considering filing for bankruptcy.

“Right now, I can’t fight,” he said. “I’m physically and mentally down, so we had to make the hard choice to close temporarily so I can get back on my feet to have more time to see if we can get things consolidated.”

Sarah Dawes said the community’s response so far to the GoFundMe drive, and what people have posted online, show what Tredwell Coffee means to employees and customers.

“You can imagine how discouraged we were approaching this moment and it was really hard to make ourselves vulnerable and share what was going on,” she said of creating the fundraising drive.

Chad Dawes said he is going to spend “however long it takes” to figure out a way to open the business again.

The donations to the GoFundMe drive will help make sure that Tredwell’s 26 employees, who Sarah Dawes said are like family, will get paid for their work.

If the drive can raise around $65,000 to $75,000, Chad Dawes said it would be enough to consider reopening the coffeehouses.

The $200,000 which is the ultimate goal of the GoFundMe would provide the money needed to help consolidate all the high-interest loans the business took out to survive, he said.

“The hardest part is knowing we are about to put 26 people out of a job,” Sarah Dawes said. “Obviously, losing a business is hard, but knowing the impact on them is even harder.”

As far as help during the pandemic, Chad Dawes said Tredwell received a $30,000 forgivable loan in May 2020 through the federal Paycheck Protection Program and in 2021 it received a U.S. Small Business Administration grant of $34,000.

The business needed to take out loans to survive. In 2022, Tredwell had its best year ever, but the loan payments began and cut away at any profits, he said.

Additionally, because of the rising cost of goods due to inflation, he said the business was no longer making a profit on its food items, even after raising prices.

In the last year, Dawes said his health has continued to decline as he fights with fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. He suffered a major heart attack in 2021 and has had major surgeries on his cervical spine, making it harder for him to work, he said.

“It’s just a perfect storm,” he said.