3/30/2011 9:40:00 AM Big Bug Station is Mayer's new gathering place
Jack Arneson and Jackie Haggerty have revitalized Mayer’s Big Bug Station with a coffee and sandwich shop and meeting place.
TribPhoto/Heidi Dahms Foster
Heidi Dahms-Foster Special to the Tribune
Mayer's newest eatery is 109 years old, but the coffee, food and friendship is fresh every day.
In 1989, Mike Connors bought the Mayer Mercantile building from the Mayer family. When he moved away recently, he didn't want the building to sit empty, so Jack Arneson and Jackie Haggerty made an agreement with him to turn the Big Bug Station into a coffee and sandwich shop.
Arneson, Haggerty and friends set to work to turn the Station into a new gathering place for the community. They cleaned, polished and refurbished items they found in the building, and the result is a large, airy, comfortable and historic place where residents and visitors can enjoy good food, coffee and company.
The Station building is infused with Mayer history. The metal, embossed ceiling is original, as is the hitching rail out front.
The couple found the Station's old counter in the back yard, and refurbished, it shines again inside the shop. The old bar came around the Horn on its way to Mayer many years ago. Old photos and memorabilia complete the ambience.
"Everything we used to decorate with was here," Haggerty said. "We just moved it around and cleaned it up a little bit."
The building boasts a stage that can be used for live music, poetry or jamming, and a spacious area in the back of the shop can seat 10 - 12 people for meetings, showers or other community events.
At other times, it's a comfortable area to read or work on the computer.
"We'd love to have local musicians come in and jam at lunchtime," Haggerty said.
Arneson isn't new to the coffee shop concept. He owned a bakery and sandwich shop in Sedona 20 years ago, and he enjoyed feeding tourists who came through in buses.
"We'd like to see some tour buses in Mayer," said Haggerty with a laugh.
Arneson and Haggerty want to thank the people who most helped them to realize their dream of a community eating and gathering place in Mayer - Joe Wilson, Dan Kelly, Jim McKee, and J.J. Wilson.
The couple also thanked the Yavapai County Development Services Dept. for leading them through the process.
Although they were so nervous about their soft grand opening this past week that they didn't advertise at first, the couple is thrilled with the community's positive reaction.
"Everyone that comes in - you know them," Haggerty said. "We have had the nicest conversations. I love that we're going to be a family here."
Offerings in the Station include Arneson's specialty breads, baked fresh daily. People can drop in and take a loaf home for dinner. He serves up his signature cinnamon rolls, bagels, streudels, muffins and breakfast sandwiches in the mornings.
For lunch, hungry folks can build their own sandwiches from a selection of breads, deli meats and chicken salad, cheese and condiments (the horseradish sauce is popular).
Delectable dessert selections include homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Smoothies, fruit and yogurt are also available.
Kids can enjoy grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Haggerty is a master gardener, and she plans to use her skills to brighten the outside of the Station with plants, flowers and some hummingbird feeders.
The Big Bug Station is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., 7 days a week.
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by:
The Big Bug Station currently has the book titled: Rock Springs Its History. The book is written by Black Canyon City author/historian, Michael Sandford. The book tells how Rock Springs AZ was built and by whom. Well worth the reading.
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2011
Article comment by:
I have lived in Mayer for over 5 years and I don't know where the Big Bug Station is. Is it near the Mayer Merchantile building? Heidi, it's nice you mentioned their hours, but how about an address?
Editor's Note: Big Bug Station is located in the Mayer Mercantile Building on Central Ave. Sorry for the omission!