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For the week of September 27 through October 3, 2000

Cupa-Joe rates going north at Perry’s

Express Staff Writer

For 15 years, Perry’s restaurant in Ketchum has served nearly every local and too numerous to count valley visitors pastries, coffees and teas, sandwiches, salads, and arguably the best cookies in town—at reasonable prices.

Okay, you ready for this? Better sit down.

Perry’s is raising its coffee prices for the first time in a decade.

Shocking news?

To be sure.

The price of a cupa-Joe—coffee to the uninitiated—is about to go up to $1.25 from $1.

As you may recall, Perry’s splendid and much loved cookie prices were raised to 50 cents from 25 cents nearly a year ago—also the establishment’s first price hike in 10 years.

"We’re not making money," owner Keith Perry said this week. "It was just time."

Monthly labor costs for Perry and his wife, Paula, come to nearly $45,000.

"You have to sell a lot of 50-cent cookies to make that up," he said.

The couple employ approximately 30 people during the high seasons, and maintain six housing units for workers. "Labor costs are going up," Keith Perry said.

He said the local hangout had excellent business this summer. However, he added, "expenses were up while margins were down."

The Perrys, both 45 years old, moved to the valley from Phoenix in 1985, and opened their restaurant, at First Avenue at Fourth Street, with a bare 900 square feet of space. Then, the next year, they expanded, and did so again two years later.

In 1990, they grew to their present size of 3,000 square feet. This past spring they gave their eponymous establishment a much needed face-lift.

In June, for the first time, Perry’s began serving full egg-and-bacon style breakfasts. This was partly an attempt to draw back some business which was lost when the ubiquitous Tully’s and Starbucks opened their coffee houses in Ketchum.

There are now 30-plus espresso coffee machines in town, Perry said. To put this number in perspective, he pointed out, when he and his wife opened in 1985, Perry’s was only the second restaurant in town to have such a machine.

If numbers tell a story, Perry’s is still one of the most popular places in town. Nearly 400 lunches are prepared daily. Many of these yummy creations are delivered to local schools.

Perry’s is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Keith and Paula Perry and their two school-age children are almost always around. It’s a family thing. Fits like a pair of old jeans. Very Ketchum. A place that serves what is still an affordable cupa-Joe.


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