For years, Tracey Rubinacci has wanted to open her own coffee shop in West Terre Haute.
Around Thanksgiving, her vision finally became reality. She and husband Victor opened the Macksville Coffee Co. at 623 W. National Ave.
“I enjoy people and making people happy. And everyone loves a cup of coffee,” Rubinacci said.
Menu items range from caramel macchiato and chai tea latte to homemade or locally-made desserts such as cannoli, cupcakes, cake, pie, donuts and muffins. Victor, who is Italian, makes the cannoli and other desserts that include pie and tiramisu.
Fresh made donuts are brought in each morning from Baesler’s, and the shop has a soup of the day that has included tortellini, lemon chicken orzo and chili. Macksville Coffee Co. has a daily lunch special.
The couple bought the former antique store (which once served as a post office) in late 2020 and have spent the past year hard at work gutting and renovating the building, which features a large, floral indoor wall mural painted by Lindsey Reed and an eye-catching menu written on a blackboard.
The coffee shop also features exposed ceiling beams, while furniture includes thrift store seating and tables from the old Long John Silver’s that once stood near ISU’s campus.
It’s been a family affair, Tracey said, with all four adult children working at the coffee shop; other family members helped Victor with the construction/renovation.
The Rubinaccis are lifelong residents of West Terre Haute and both have other full-time jobs; she is a nurse and office manager for Providence Medical Center and he works for the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.
They call it the Macksville Coffee Co. because West Terre Haute was formerly known as Macksville, laid out by Samuel McQuilkin in 1836.
They’ve named several of the menu items after the McQuilkin family, including Mercy Mocha (Samuel McQuilkin’s wife was named Mercy). They also have the McQuilkinsville Macchiato, named after McQuilkin. In addition, they have a Sammi Slam energy drink.
Other bits of local history can also be found in the menu: The Coal Miner’s Cappuccino, The Steamboat Steamer, and The Viking Collection for kids.
Growing up, Tracey remembers more businesses and more activities in West Terre Haute and even a Macksville festival each year. The Rubinaccis are happy to be part of the community’s revitalization efforts.
They hope the coffee shop serves as a gathering place for local high school as well as college students. “I wanted a place for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students to have a place to study,” Tracey said. ISU students and faculty have frequented the coffee shop, and it’s also had visitors from Illinois.
Among those stopping by Dec. 2 were Kelly and Jim Henson. “We’ve been driving by and seeing them working on it,” Kelly said. It was their first visit.
Both of their daughters attended and graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and the family used to frequent the building when it housed a vintage and antique store. “It’s really cool to see the complete renovation,” Kelly said. “It’s mind-blowing what they’ve done.”
Also visiting was Christian Orman, a West Vigo High School graduate. “I think it’s something the town needed … Kids will come in and do their school work. And the coffee is great,” he said.
Cody Ingham, also a West Vigo graduate, said, “It’s a great thing for the community.”
Hours are 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday; the coffee shop has free wifi. The menu includes drip coffee, hot chocolate, hot and iced tea and cold brew.
The business has a drive-thru, via a one-way alley going north toward National Avenue. (Its Facebook page has a video on how to access it).
The community response to Macksville Coffee Co. has been “very positive,” Tracey said. The Rubinaccis are grateful for the support.
The coffee shop opened Nov. 22, exactly 185 years after town founder Samuel McQuilkin created the first plat map of the area.
After a year of hard work, and some setbacks, “It’s finally come together,” Tracey said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.