Pottery and eatery serving a cafe niche in Waynesburg

A new addition to Waynesburg, Kiln to Table, is providing a new outlet for friends, family and students to eat, relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee, said employee Liz Carpenter.

“It’s all about bringing the university, community and people together with food and coffee. People around here need a place to go to eat and drink a good cup of coffee,” Carpenter said.

As Waynesburg natives, Carpenter is a longtime friend of the owner of Kiln to Table, Jennifer Adamson. 

The two met when Carpenter was attending middle school, and Adamson was running her first cafe 18 years ago. They reconnected at California University of Pennsylvania when Carpenter was pursuing her undergraduate degree in ceramics and Adamson worked in the art department.

“Liz has been with me for pretty much the whole time. She would come almost everyday after school to my old coffee shop,” Adamson said. “When we met at California University of Pennsylvania is when we really developed a relationship.”

What is now the Kiln to Table cafe used to be the site of Adamson’s pottery studio utilized to craft her products for her wholesale business, Pennsylvania Mug Company. 

“Two years earlier the building behind us opened up and it’s larger but it also needed a lot of renovations. So we stayed up in this front building until that was done and then we moved the studio to the back building,” Adamson said.

Carpenter said the cafe came into its own over the years as a result of their holiday openings.

“So over the last couple of years we’d open up for a holiday event and she sold her mugs and people went crazy for them and then we would sell coffee bags and it just started forming,” Carpenter said. “We both thought, we need to do something.”

Sierra Medina, The Yellow Jacket
Previously, the Pennsylvania Mug Company, Kiln to Table is owned by Waynesburg-born Jennifer Adamson.

The pressing need in the Waynesburg area for an establishment like this, one that serves homemade meals with fresh ingredients, was apparent to Carpenter.

“The whole cafe idea just organically formed,” she said. “There’s not a lot of places to eat in Waynesburg, and there’s not a lot of places for college students to go. If you don’t want Mexican, Chinese or fast food, where do you eat?”.

The restaurant boasts vegan and vegetarian options inspired by friends and family who have chosen to go that route, said Adamson.

About 50 percent of their food is locally sourced, while all is fresh and prepared daily, with all their meat roasted in-house. 

“We knew we wanted to stick with fresh ingredients made from scratch, the less processed the better,” said Carpenter.

Their goal is to stay fresh and to cater to college students and residents while staying affordable.

“I think we have an option for anyone,” said Adamson. “Our least expensive sandwich is $5.50 and I hope that that would be comparable to McDonald’s, so we’re competitive and I don’t think we’re overpriced for the market.”

The cafe is situated in a quiet part of town, with a beautiful view of the mountainside. It also has its own parking lot right across from the main building. It’s location really resonates with Carpenter.

“I grew up on the south side of Waynesburg on West Greene St. So, to see this part of town start to flourish means everything to me,” Carpenter said. “When we hear the train go by it just reminds me of my childhood, and it means everything to me.”

Side by side, these two friends are blessed to work together and for the community.

“I could have not run into a better situation for myself,” Carpenter said. “I love ceramics, I love coffee and I love Jennifer. I mean she’s like my life mentor, I look up to her in every way and I’m super proud of her. She’s an amazing woman.”

Kiln to Table is located on 352 S. Richhill St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Adamson and Carpenter said they are happy to provide this cafe combined with a pottery shop to the community and are overjoyed by the responses pouring in.

“It’s been very, very busy from when we open the doors until we close at night. The dining room has always been full, it feels wonderful and it’s very exciting,” Adamson said. “It is a little nerve-racking when you open a business, to make sure you’re well received in the community, people would come in and they would almost be cheering.”