The Nutty Java offers an array of specialty coffee drinks, a variety of roasted nuts and a selection of sandwiches, but it is also the story behind Carl Matherly Jr.’s ownership of The Nutty Java that will keep you coming back.
Carl Matherly Sr. and Isabel Matherly met during World War II in Berlin. They returned from the war, eventually married and made their home in Kingsport. After being married for a while, they adopted two children. This decision forever changed the course of Carl Matherly Jr.’s life.
Matherly Jr. was deeply impacted by the love, kindness and Christian foundation he received from his parents. One of his early memories is watching his mother stop the garbage collectors in the summer to make them rest in chairs on their front lawn with cold drinks. He emphasizes the kindness in his mother by saying, “Mom always gave them hats and gloves to wear in the cold winter months.”
Carl Sr. and Isabel were both lifelong educators. Matherly Sr. was the principal at Lynn View School until the school shut down and he became the first principal at Sullivan South High School. Matherly Jr. paved his own way in the educational field and worked in the Sullivan County school system after his father retired.
After Isabel Matherly passed away, Matherly Jr.’s sister checked on Matherly Sr. on a daily basis. Carl Matherly Sr. had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and then fell and broke a hip. At that time, a decision had to be made about the future care of his father and Matherly Jr. knew exactly what he needed to do for his dad. He immediately took leave from his job at Holston Middle School, moved in with his father and devoted his time to his father’s health and comfort. Despite a significant loss of income and health benefits, Matherly Jr. wanted to express his appreciation to his father by committing himself to his care. During this time, Matherly Jr. decided to pursue his real estate license online. He eventually completed the courses and passed the real estate license exam.
Matherly Jr. approached several real estate companies about working with them part-time and explained his situation of caring for his father. He needed a flexible schedule and made no presumptions that his father’s care had to come first. Pam Addington of A Team Real Estate understood Matherly Jr.’s situation and thought he would be a great fit for her company.
So Matherly Jr. was working part-time as a real estate agent and taking care of his father full-time. When his sister would make her daily visit with their dad, Matherly Jr. would frequently go to The Nutty Java in the Kingsport Town Center to enjoy a cup of coffee. He and his wife would spend time there, and came to realize that the owner was a former student of his. Eventually, Matherly Jr. started advertising his real estate listings on the TVs around The Nutty Java and was meeting clients there.
When the original owner decided to sell, Matherly Jr. started discussing the purchase with his wife. After careful thought and consideration, the couple made the leap of faith and bought The Nutty Java - on the condition that Lita, the barista, would stay on as manager and teach the family everything she knew about the business.
In time, the Matherlys started thinking about opening a coffee shop in the downtown area. Upon finding a location right on the heart of Broad Street, they opened the second Nutty Java. Tyler Matherly, Carl’s youngest son, who had started working in The Nutty Java at the Kingsport Town Center, is now the manager at The Nutty Java's downtown location.
“The people are great downtown and we enjoy the atmosphere that comes with working in downtown Kingsport,” said Tyler Matherly.
“We want The Nutty Java to become a destination, where people can sit at our coffee bar, have a conversation and know we will remember them,” Carl Matherly Jr. said.
Visit The Nutty Java at one of their two locations: on the lower level, across from Sears, at the Kingsport Town Center on Fort Henry Drive; or in their new location at 115 Broad Street in Downtown Kingsport. “Like” The Nutty Java on Facebook to receive information on specials and updates.