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River City Tea, Coffee and Cream 

Owner sweet on second career

These days, Lisa Coleman makes a walking cane look sexy.

But that hasn't always been the case. A couple of years ago, she was in a car accident that nearly cost her her life. She survived, but couldn't walk or work the nursing job at Arkansas Children's Hospital she dearly loved. Determined, Coleman started the long process of rebuilding her life and body, and it was on one of her walks—she had recently traded her walker for a cane—that she happened upon River City Gift Company—Coffee, Tea & Chocolate at 2715 Kavanaugh Blvd.

The River City space is now also home to The Freckled Frog, a store with a wide array of Arkansas-made clothing, jewelry, colorful accessories and baby clothes.

"It looked like a really great place," Coleman says she remembers thinking as she sat outside contemplating the purchase of the business.

As luck would have it, the former owners were ready to sell, and Coleman took over the operation Sept. 1, renaming it River City Tea, Coffee and Cream. In addition to the selection of gift baskets, coffees, teas and the fudge made in the shop's kitchen, Coleman is bringing back the scrumptious selection of handmade truffles. She describes the tiny candies as "little works of art."

These days, Coleman is opening the store a little earlier and offering muffins, granola, bagels, fruit, coffee and tea to the morning crowd, followed by a light fare at noon, and for the after-school crowd, there's Yarnell's Ice Cream.

She says her goal is to create a local haunt with plenty of hot coffee and free Internet access where people feel welcome.

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