Grand Central Coffee Shop in Storm Lake was recognized Tuesday for its smoke-free environment by the Buena Vista County Prevention Initiative.
The initiative represents a coalition dedicated to preventing alcohol, tobacco, or drug use. As part of its efforts to encourage people to not use tobacco, the initiative recognizes establishments that have banned smoking from their premises.
John and Karen Keenan, who have lived in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Washington for a number of years before returning to Storm Lake, opened Grand Central Coffee shop at 400 West Fifth Street in Storm Lake Feb. 4.
"We haven't really had any comment at all," Keenan said. Before he and Karen opened the shop they posted signs, and other than comments from a few people who had asked whether they would be smoke-free before they opened, the Keenans have had no comment really either way about their smoking ban.
John noted that most restaurants in the Midwest have smoking areas so smoke-free may seem somewhat unusual to some people who are accustomed to seeing areas designated for smoking.
"I think it's neat," Keenan said. "We came from the West Coast where it's not uncommon at all." He said California and New York both are going entirely smoke-free.
John said he and his wife are happy to be back home in Storm Lake.
"This was home for us," John said. "We felt this was an opportunity for us to come back."
Agencies present to present the Keenans the award included Cindy Johnson, Northwest Iowa Alcohol and Drug Treatment Unit; Jennifer Sammons, Prevention Coordinator from Sioux Central School; Carrie Hepcla, representing the State Incentive Grant for Substance Abuse Prevention; and Pam Bogue, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator.