Chasing A Dream: Couple opens Coffee Shop, book store in Brookhaven

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, December 7, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Coffee lingers in the air as warm rays of sunlight flow through an old house on West Monticello Street. Formerly known as the “Pink House,” the house has been transformed into a blue, white and orange Wild Fox Coffee Shop and Dog Ear Bookstore, thanks to the work of Dana Matte.

She has not done it alone. While Wild Fox opened on Nov. 28, Dana waited for her husband Jason Matte to be home to talk about their business venture. A nurse practitioner, Dana said the pandemic was a stressful time and her husband felt the same way as a truck driver for Walmart. One day she surprised him on the road with an idea, to set up her own business, as she spoke to him on the phone. 

“We wanted a book store and felt Brookhaven needed one. They don’t support themselves like they used to so we added a coffee shop to help support the business,” Dana said. “I always wanted to own my own business but I figured it would be a clinic in an old house.” 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Jason said okay to the idea and agreed to support her dream. 

“I was reserved about it at first but she said it was always a dream of hers. I didn’t want to stand in front of her dream,” Jason said. “Anyway she went, I was going to make it happen.”

They purchased the home in April 2022 and started renovating the space on days when they were off from work. Jason and Dana still keep their full time jobs and invest their waking hours off the clock to the business. 

Wild Fox is still a work in progress to an extent. They plan to add food such as biscuits in the near future, a drive through should be completed in a couple of weeks and they hope to turn the front porch into a seating area where people can sit and visit. 

Upstairs will be a children’s area and they plan to have another room set aside for a book club. Every space, including the dining room, is warm and inviting with framed pictures of foxes adorning the walls. Dana said she really loves foxes and thought it would be a cool name for the company. 

Her hope is people will come in for the coffee and get a book, too. Wild Fox also plans to sell a small selection of professional grade art supplies. 

Coffee flavors are inspired by the dogs in Dana and Jason’s lives. Each drink is based off the dog’s coat coloration and personality. Roscoe is the name of their corgi and the corresponding drink has toasted marshmallow, pecan and caramel flavors. 

The most popular drink right now is the Newman which is salted caramel and white chocolate. It is a savory and sweet drink and is named after a dog of theirs which died in March. 

“I think it is fitting that the most popular drink right now is Newman’s,” she said.

Coffee beans are roasted in Mississippi by Thunderhead. They also make a Lotus Energy drink which is made with green coffee beans. Jason said it was important to keep the ingredients Mississippi based. 

A group of employees help run the business while Jason and Dana are busy with their full time jobs. Young and spirited, they are a good group who help with their mission, Jason said. 

“We want to be a fixture in the community and be a place people could come by and hangout,” he said. 

“The employees we have are young. This is likely their first job and will be temporary for them as they grow. We want to give young people a job and teach them life skills and how to be good employees for others,” Dana said. Her husband has played a big role in the dream. “I couldn’t have done it without him. We are a good team.” 

Wild Fox is located at 512 West Monticello Street in Brookhaven. It is open Monday thru Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.