After years of working in the local retail and food industry, Brookneal resident Barbara Johnson opened a café right in the heart of Brookneal. Pure Faith Café, “is my life’s testimony wrapped up in a café” said Johnson.
The café’s slogan is, “Eat, Pray, Laugh,” something that came to her while drinking a bottle of tea. The name fits Johnson, who says her life story is based on her faith. Johnson, along with her silent partner, had hoped to open the café in the summer of 2020, but wasn’t able to open until the end of the year.
“We opened up on December 14,2020 we didn’t close at all,” says Johnson. As more people realize the old drive-in theatre and nationwide building has been turned into a café, Johnson expects the business will grow. She says, “We have two extra employees, then myself and a silent partner. Business is going good, it’s been really picking up.”
The café has recently extended their hours to be able to serve more people in the community. Johnson says, “It was crazy the first few weeks because the hours were 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. We had some community input, and we are now open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.”
Local resident Brenda Pool says, “Brookneal was in need of a local sub shop again, everyone loves subs. Pure Faith Café has the best selection and the great taste in subs. We, as a community, are so very thankful for this little shop and it’s friendly employees.”
The café has some indoor seating, but it is limited, so they also offer takeout and curbside pickup. Pure Faith Café offers specialty wraps and bakery fresh breakfast items, but, “we don’t do any type of breakfast plates. We don’t have any way to cook it, and things aren’t the same cooked in the microwave so we do a lot of wraps.”
There is a large assortment of subs on the menu and on the message board, but Johnson notes, “We have specialty subs that aren’t even on the menu. We tell people the specials when they come in.”
One of their biggest sellers is coffee. Nathalie resident Dena Bomar says, “It’s nice to have a local place to get different flavors of coffee. It also has great sandwiches, wraps and desserts. Brookneal needed this place. Their name, Pure Faith, says it all.”
Johnson says they are always adding new flavors of specialty coffee, “The frappes are just amazing. If you don’t believe it you have to try it.” Right now the café is offering over 15 specialty flavors including Nutella, Oreo, Fruity Pebbles, and a unicorn with sprinkles. They are currently working out the flavoring for summer options, like peaches and cream and orange creamsicle.
With plans for expanding the menu in the future, Johnson is also focused on community needs and customer service. Tammy Epperson says, “Brookneal needed a coffee and sandwich shop where the owner and employees care about people and love people. Their faith is their inspiration. I am thankful for the blessing they are to everyone. The bonus is good food and awesome caramel macchiatos!”
Johnson says, “We cherish every customer that comes through the door. They are a blessing.” Pure Faith Café is located at 448 Lusardi Drive in Brookneal, and they can also be found on Facebook.