DESTIN — A new, Christian-based coffee shop opened in Destin Thursday.

Customers poured into the bright, open-concept cafe early opening morning to get a taste of the franchise's two main offerings, coffee and waffles. Dee Chernicky, former owner of Shake's Frozen Custard in Destin, opened Just Love after seeing a need for larger coffee shops in the area for meetings and small gatherings.

Chernicky, whose son owns Tango 3 Coffee Company in Niceville, said it was while on a trip to Nashville to learn about the area's coffee shops that she stumbled upon the Just Love Coffee franchise. A local pastor, Chernicky then decided to ditch the idea of an independent cafe and move forward with starting Just Love in Northwest Florida.

"Just Love Coffee is an upscale coffee cafe with a stage so we can have live music," Chernicky said. "The atmosphere is really nice. It's 3,600 square feet and inside and out we can seat 110 to 120.

"It's the Christian lifestyle that we are about," she continued. "We'll have open mic night and Bible trivia."

Breakfast offerings at the coffee shop include the Womelette, a waffle made of eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes and tots for $8.95. Another is a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit for $4.95 and a breakfast burrito for $7.95.

Artisan waffles include the Berry Berry Bo-Berry, a traditional waffle with an assortment of berries, whipped cream and powdered sugar for $7.95; the $8.45 Flyin' Pig, served with bacon, sausage and egg stuffed in a traditional waffle; and the Stuffed Nutella, a traditional waffle with a Nutella spread, whipped cream, strawberries and Nutella drizzle for $6.50. 

There are also salads, wraps, sandwiches and traditional coffee shop food like scones, muffins and more. Chernicky said the menu's healthy section even accommodates keto, paleo and vegan diets.

On the coffee menu are lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, americanos and more.

"No one should feel shy coming here," Chernikcy said. "This is just a warm place to gather and it really fills a void in the Destin area. We don't have a large place go to that have coffee and great food. This place is very casual. We have meeting rooms that we rent out so it's a great thing for our tourists who come here and have a condo full of people and need some quiet space to get some work done.

"We have quiet spaces with WiFi and a conference room," she continued. "This is just the perfect venue for groups to hold their meetings."

The coffee shop is located at 985 Highway 98 E. in Destin. The cafe is currently opened from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.