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.