This time, it's official.
Alba Coffee, the family-owned independent coffee shop that had become a favorite among Carrollwood residents - which had threatened to close earlier this year - boarded up its entrance on Tuesday, March 27.
On Wednesday, the exterior of the business at 15000 N. Dale Mabry Highway in a shopping plaza at Ehrlich Road anchored by Target and DSW Shoes bore a note and a sign for customers, saying they would be able to purchase coffee at The Yogurt Spot next door.
A portion of the note read:
"On March 27, 2012, this Alba Coffee location will be closing its doors to make room for opening all new ones ... We thank you for your continued support and understanding, and we hope you continue to be the finest customers we've come to know and love at the nearest Alba Coffee location."
Fiona Craig, who made smoothies, cappuccino and coffee drinks at the old location since it opened last April, worked behind the counter at The Yogurt Spot, 15006 N. Dale Mabry Highway, on Wednesday. She said she approached the owner there about forming a partnership where her family could sell Alba Coffee Express products, and he agreed.
"Today's our first day here," Craig said. "I feel positive. For us, it's a way to get Alba Coffee Express into the community, and we are reaching more people."
On Wednesday, Alba Customers walked past the coffee shop and stopped to read the sign outside. Craig said while the family's coffee will be sold at locations around Carrollwood - including Brianna's Fine Foods and Tampa Bay Bagel Company - the ambiance of the now closed coffee shop will be missed.
"I am sad, too," she said. "It became a big family. People came in, they knew our family and we knew theirs. It was quite sad yesterday saying 'bye bye.' But, at least they can still have our coffee."
The Yogurt Spot will serve Alba Coffee, smoothies and cappuccino drinks during regular business hours. The business is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.