Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 15

This week I am taking you to my downtown's famous coffee shop, J.P.'s


If you don't believe that they are famous, read this article.

I avoid coming here only because it is always so busy. When most downtowns around the country are in decline or slowly fighting their way back from the brink of abandonment. Our downtown is thriving and has been thriving since the early 1990's. Our thriving can be contributed to a local business man with an amazing vision and a fair amount of money to implement that vision. Unfortunately, this man was lost too early in his life to a fatal heart attack. Fortunately for our downtown, by the time that happened he had all the right people in place and his wife carried on his vision.

I arrived at the coffee shop at half past nine.

I knew the trickiest part of the whole adventure was going to be finding a table. I spied a small two seater mushed up against the wall amidst the main mass of people. I quickly made a bee line for the table and plunked my bag down on the table, not bothering to unpack anything. I grabbed my wallet from my bag and scooted into line since there was only one person ahead of me.

The barista that took my order had the best raspy voice I have heard outside of the singing competition show The Voice.  I ordered a cinnamon twist. A step out from my usual muffin or scone. Though I did not deviate from my usual Chai Latte. Each coffee shop has a slightly different taste to their Chai's. This one was very creamy, not as sweet, but sweet enough.


As I waited at the end of the counter for my Chai, the booth right across from the counter was being vacated by a lone lady. I scurried back to my original table, scooped up my bag, thanking my good foresight for not having unpacked. In the blink of an eye I had claimed a prime location booth. This time unpacking my books, journal and pencils and spreading out as I waited for my Chai.

I am always amazed that so many people have nothing else to do on weekday morning that meet and hang out at a coffee shop. Although to be fair, a lot of the crowd in this coffee shop is made up of college students, the campus is only a block away. They are probably killing time before or between classes, or maybe meeting for a study group.


My attention was drawn to a lady picking up her drink at the end of the counter. It must have been her first time here. She said to the barista "Is it always busy like this?" The barista, a young college girl, said "Yes, especially in the morning. This is the busiest coffee shop I have ever been to."


There were definitely regulars here just like at my usual coffee shop. Miss Raspy greeted many customers by name and she knew many by sight and just said to them "remind me of your name again". I love that she asked each person if they wanted their drink in a glass cup or in a to-go cup. I prefer the to-go cup, it may not be as pretty but it keeps my drink hot longer. Then I don't feel as rushed to drink it. Miss Raspy called everybody "Hon" as she finished taking their order. A trait that I usually find annoying but from her it seemed endearing.


They run this coffee shop like a well oiled machine. Even though it was constantly busy, the wait to pick up drinks was never very long. I know that J.P.'s runs an amazing Barista School, and from what I saw in action while I was there, I would say if you make it through the school you will be an amazing barista.

I would highly recommend a visit to J.P.'s if you are ever in Holland. It is an experience not to be missed.

Next week's edition will be a travel edition since I will be leaving mid-week for Marquette to help college daughter pack up the end of another school year.

Until next week...

21 comments:

  1. You know I'll be tagging along as your visit next week's coffee shop.

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  2. Right you are, a very busy place! Pleasant and tasty though . . . I have enjoyed many Hazel Nut Skinny Sugar Free, Extra Hot, No Foam Lattes there many a time. Enjoy the move for Mallory. Be safe . . .

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  3. Pretty coffee shop...I love the glass in the counter. I can't believe it's time to pack up your daughter! Time flies! Be careful in your travels.

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  4. Now this is a place I could really get into...thanks for sharing Sarah.

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  5. I would love to have a coffee here.

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  6. You have the most fun.. honestly. I love this blog and all you do..

    and I dont like "Hon" either. I m going to be so aware now with each time I go into a place. Thank you for that.

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  7. this looks a great coffee stop

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  8. How was your coffee and pastry? Better?

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  9. Such a fun place to go. This looks like a great coffee shop too! I thought of you the other day when I was looking at some photos that I did last summer on a trip to montana. It was taken on an Indian Reservation and was a teepee... said coffee to go! and definitely a coffee shop. Will have to post it sometime.

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  10. Looks like a fun place to observe and enjoy a sweet treat and drink.

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  11. I have never got to like chai although my daughter loves it, I am a straight filter fan. Hope all goes well with the packing up I will be helping Jo pack ready for her big adventure...

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  12. What a nice tour of your hometown coffee shop! I love their counters. Your cinnamon twist looks so good Sarah! Wishing you nice weather going further north! We saw it was only in the 40s in Charlevoix yesterday.

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  13. Every time I read one of these chronicles of yours, it reminds me of a trip I made years ago to Berkeley, CA, to visit my daughter who was at University there. While she was in class or at work, I spent several hours in coffee shops, sketching, or writing observations about the fascinating people I saw there. It was so much fun! You make me want to do it again, so I guess I'd better find a place of my own here. :) Your downtown Holland sounds like a wonderful place. A vital downtown is one of the things I like about this place, too.

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  14. This looks (and sounds) like a wonderful place to spend some time.

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  15. Very late to the game for this post {for various reasons} but better late than never! This looks like a great coffee shop and that cinnamon twist looks well worth the calories!

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  16. Sounds like a perfect shop! I'm jealous of the cinnamon twist! Looks awesome!

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  17. Looks like a great coffee shop! I love the description of Miss Raspy!

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  18. Sounds like a great place an oh my that Cinnamon twist looked delicious.

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  19. I like my drink in the to go cup too, it does stay warmer. I wonder if Miss Raspy sings?

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  20. good coffee shops are a wonderful place to sit and relax and....

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  21. Another great coffee chronicle...and I'll take one of those cinnamon twists to go please! I have to go get my daughter too next week, right after a long day at the hospital for Sam. I'm hoping we can spend the night and do something fun at the missions one last time. Be safe in your travels!

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