Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No.6 - The Internet Cafe

I needed jam. College daughter is coming home soon and we are running low. We are a bit particular about our jam. No grocery store variety is going to work for us. Our favorite is a Cherry Jam made by Cherry Republic which is located in the heart of Northern Michigan Cherry Country. I can get small jars of it at a local store in our downtown, but I can get substantial size jars of it if I travel just 30 minutes north of where I live. The way Glen spoons jam onto his english muffin, we need the 17 oz. economy size.


I thought I would kill two birds with one trip. I would combine jam shopping with my coffee shop adventure. So I Goggled coffee shops in Grand Haven and this is the first place that came up. It is located right downtown, the same as the jam shoppe.


I arrived at the coffee shop at half past nine.

I had a mild case of sun blindness as I walked through the door. The first thing I noticed was how dark and cave like it was. Other than a big front window there were no additional windows. So different than my usual coffee shop, which is bathed in light.


It was quite busy in the coffee shop. Fortunately there was a "Line Begins Here" sign hanging from the ceiling, directing me to where I needed to go. At that moment I was the only one in line which was a good thing since the guy behind the counter was the Order Taker, Assistant, and Drink Maker all in one. There was no time for a cheerful greeting or pleasant chatter as he took my order since there was a line starting to form behind me.

Although, he did have time to offer me a free travel mug. They must have gotten a few boxes of give aways from a local bank. He seemed shocked when I declined his offer of the free mug. My cupboards at home are already overflowing with free travel mugs and free plastic water bottles all with some company's name or logo on them. I did not need to add another. I happily took my Chai in their pretty red house mug. A mug that I could enjoy my drink from and then return to them to clean and to store.


I ordered a Chocolate Chip Scone with my Chai. The scone was delicious, but the presentation was a bit lacking. No napkin, no silverware, just the scone on a plastic plate.


The table choices were pretty sparse. Most of the tables and booths were filled with people and their laptops. I had noticed on the glass door as I came in that this was an internet cafe. Now I really see the benefits of my lovely coffee shop not being a Wifi Wonderland.


I was probably the only person that didn't have an electronic device on their table. Well, ok, I did have my phone, but that was only so I could sneakily take photos.

Secretly I was hoping that this coffee shop would be rather empty. You see this town is where I spent my early childhood years. My dad worked here as a Kitchen Cabinet Maker and I went to Nursery School here. Yes, I am from the nursery school generation not the preschool generation. I really wanted to spend the morning reminiscing about those days, but alas that was not to be. Stories to save for another day.

I do remember that this coffee shop use to be a shoe store called Tim & Jerry's. I loved to come in here because in the back of the store there was a life size, realistic looking, stuffed horse. I don't remember every buying any shoes here, but I did love to look at and touch that horse. I was kind of hoping that it would still be here. Not that it goes with the coffee shop theme, but I would have loved to touch it one more time.


You might be wondering by now, if I love my usual coffee shop so much why do I bother going other places. Recently I came across this statement by Natalie Goldberg in her book Writing Down the Bones  which I think sums up my thoughts perfectly. "When we live in a place for too long, we grow dull. We don't notice what is around us. That is why a trip is so exciting. We are in a new place and see everything in a fresh way."

I need these adventures to see things differently, to keep my writing fresh, and to appreciate what I have  in my beloved coffee shop.

Next week I might mention to the Order Taker just how high they have set the bar for a coffee shop, and that so far all others have fallen short.

25 comments:

  1. I hope you got your Jam? I guess the scone measured up to your favorite spot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a memory you have Sarah! Nice touch recalling the horse. I couldn't agree more with Goldberg's quote too. I love how you are going to share your praise with the Order Taker. And oh, that is a might fine Kelly Moore bag!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the two photos of people on their computers. They are both in their own worlds - he looks very intent, while she's clearly amused or pleased by something she sees on the screen. I wonder if people ever go there to hang out and actually interact with each other!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How fortunate you are to live so close to your childhood home! Mine is over 900 miles away!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Natalie has written great advice-routine is not the best for un-tapping the creative outlet..and mine (childhood home) half way around the world :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. :) Yes, you should absolutely tell them...it will make their day! Fun memories and that jam looks wonderful! Until next time . . . toodles!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't have Natalie's Writing Down the Bones, but I do have the one about writing one's memoirs, which I had mentioned to oldest granddaughter just yesterday that I need to take time off from regular tasks and add to them. I prefer coffee shops that are small and intimate, but I think that all those like that around here have closed. :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been to one coffee shop that didn't have outlets for people to plug in their computers. That way, they were limited in how long they could stay. :) I was just reading somewhere that we need the duality of opposite experiences in order to fully experience how lovely we have it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought about you this morning when I took my daughter to a coffee shop that I used to take her when she was a toddler. Each Saturday morning we used to visit and she would order a chocolate cake and milkshake. The shop was fitted out to look like an old Lyons Tea Room and the staff were in uniform. Today when we visited it had been modernised and this included mass produced cakes and tasteless coffee. Such a shame but it made me appreciate the normal tea rooms I go to at the other end of town with their china cups and saucers all in different patterns and their gorgeous home made cakes. Sometimes a change is needed as you say, to appreciate the reason why you have made one place your place.

    ReplyDelete
  10. But it is fun making these trips with you. Keep on writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I liked the Goldberg quote and the trip to the GH Java Shop!
    I think you brought a bright spot to the somewhat dreary coffee house . . .
    Did you purchase some jam?

    ReplyDelete
  12. How are you liking the memoir book? I have a sample on my Kindle but haven't gotten to it yet. Sometimes, it's hard to get a seat in coffee shops that offer free WiFi. People just sit forever surfing after buying a cup of coffee. Cherry jam sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your jam sounds wonderful - and probably worth the trip. I love the quote - probably because I move a lot and it makes me feel better... I'm also getting a kick out of your stealth photography - very nice! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wish that horse had been there too! What an amazing surprise that would have turned out to be!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love Cherry Republic jams and jellies! Once a year there's a big Christmas Holiday House event where many venders come and sale their wares. I've always bought several kinds, but it never holds me over till the next year. Maybe I should just mail-order some! I think your original coffee shop is going to be hard to beat! The scone looks delicious, but yes, you need butter!

    ReplyDelete
  16. what a great way to see things Sarah...and you're right about seeing things in a new way. I do like me some jelly but I prefer preserves. I want the chunks of fruit. I think your order taker might like hearing how high up on the bar they are!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with growing stale in your hometown and how we ought to branch out but I find it so difficult, that first cup of coffee of the day is so important !!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. How interesting that must have been to visit the coffee shop that used to be the shoe store when you were small. Times are a changin! The jams look wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That Cherry Jam and Cherry Butter are screaming my name!!! Glad to see you added another edition to the Chronicles. You really have me thinking about capturing my beloved coffee shop to share with you. You will love it! And no devices! Just the morning paper, and shelves of used books to peruse. Very small and very quaint! See you soon! Aloha

    ReplyDelete
  20. Would love to visit for some scones and jam! I noticed you did not mention any offering of used books in this coffee shop. Probable with a name like "Jumpi' Java" people are too busy to read. Enjoyed my visit today.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love that quote. And while I am not a coffee shop visitor very often, I would also prefer the windows of your regular place. Your coffee shop chronicles are something I look forward to and read completely - very rare for someone like me who skim reads everything else!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wi-Fi does tend to lead to a busy place. I'll have to keep that in mind if I'm looking for a quiet place to settle in.

    ReplyDelete
  23. hi! I found your blog while searching online for images of my grandfather's shoe store, Tim and Jerry shoes. My grandfather is Tim Boone. :) Thank you for sharing your memory, it made me smile. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi! I found your blog while searching online for images of my grandfather's shoe store, Tim and Jerry shoes. My grandfather is Tim Boone. :) Thank you for sharing your memory, it made me smile. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)