COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Each and every day is a labor of love for Stephie Bridgers. 20 months ago, she did something crazy.
"I mean, I literally opened this when I was 46 years old," she said. "This was my midlife crisis."
She took an old cinderblock room along Rosewood Drive and turned it into The Local Buzz, a one-of-a-kind coffee shop and café where regulars store their personal coffee cups on the wall.
"I get to do what I love. I get to serve people. I get to bake. I get to make sandwiches. I get to create recipes," she said with a smile.
But, this past weekend threw Bridgers' midlife plan a curveball.
"I look on the floor, and one part of the registers on the floor," she recalled.
Burglars targeted the place she's worked so hard on.
"I felt violated. I felt disgusted that someone had been in here. I questioned going how did they get in, and then you start second-guessing everything that you have been doing," she said.
Turns out, her café wasn't alone. Nearby, Rooftop Pizza was also ransacked, along with the Ole Timey Meat Market.
Columbia Police think there's a good chance the three crimes or related.
"I'm assigned to the neighborhood. It's like my own neighborhood, and so when incidents do occur, yeah, it frustrates me. It frustrates all of us," said Master Patrol Officer Kevin Schmidt.
For now, that means increased patrols past Rosewood businesses like Bridgers'.
"You know, the first night was rough. I didn't sleep at all," she said. "I kept on re-enacting my footsteps, but then, I became at peace going, 'Okay, it was just money.'"