by Steve Jusseaume
The Herald Sunday, February 4, 2001
HAMPTON _ The 21st Century has reached Hampton, in the form of a cyber cafe: One of those coffee shops that offer expresso, bagels, email addresses, the Internet, and instant access to the world.
C-Coast Cyber Cafe opened its doors at 471 Lafayette Road in downtown Hampton last week, in a former beauty salon.
Erin Candiano runs the cafe together with her father Peter Doonan. Candiano, a Salisbury, Mass. native, has a teaching degree and used to work for Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, but wanted to go out on her own, and got the idea for a cyber cafe from a friend who opened a similar cafe in Maine.
"I always wanted to do something different, and a friend in Bangor open a cyber cafe. That gave me the idea," Candiano said, adding that her father, retired from the computer industry, "is the computer expert while I had the guts to try this."
Candiano, 35, who is computer-literate, took a few business courses and set about searching for a location. "We looked at a thousand places, then basically stumbled across this place," she said. The location seems perfect. Candiano lives with her husband Steven in North Hampton while her parents live in Salisbury.
She added that opening a cyber cafe seemed daunting at first, since so many similar operations have opened then quickly closed in the area, including one in Portsmouth. But unlike the Portsmouth cafe, which offered a full restaurant menu plus a bar, C-Coast Cyber Cafe will have as its primary focus computer services, and serve only coffees, expresso, bagels and muffins.
Steven Candiano renovated the 900-square-foot space over the past month and five computer stations replaced the five beauty parlor chairs.
C-Coast Cyber Cafe has a high-speed direct link to the Internet, and will specialize in solving software and application problems, assigning email addresses, repairing and/or upgrading computers, developing World Wide Web pages for individuals and small businesses, consulting on business processes, and computer training.
"Because of the speed we have, we can offer high-speed downloads of music, things like steaming videos, we can burn CDs, we can do everything here that a person can do at a home office, only faster," Candiano said, adding that visitors can enjoy a fresh cup of expresso or cappuccino, plug their laptop in and have their questions answered all at he same time.
Doonan noted that this week three women came in who had traveled to Turkey and were planning a second trip to China, and wanted to set up an email where they could send electronic mail home from those places. "We can set you up to have access anywhere in the world," Doonan said, noting that C-Coast is also equipped to offer video conferencing.
The cafe plans a grand opening later this month, and will offer training sessions and evening seminars, including genealogical research, Internet stock trading, and other, more practical computer applications. The only thing C-Coast Cyber doesn't do, Doonan noted, is sell computers.
He added that 72 percent of people on vacation want to check their home email, and the cafe will advertise that capability this summer when hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Hampton Beach.
Together with a coffee and pastry menu, the cafe offers a Cyber service menu, including coffee and 15 minutes of access time for $3, high speed Internet access for $5 per half-hour, faxes, coaching seminars and business card creation and printing.
C-Coast Cyber Cafe can be contacted at (603) 926-9107, or at its email address: www.c-coastcybercafe.com.
"We've set up shop and are looking forward to a great future in Hampton and all along the Seacoast," said Candiano.