In March, we find winter start to pull back and spring begin to pull ahead. So much change is coming as we wait for buds to appear on trees and grass to slowly come back to life. It's hard to imagine with this much snow still on the ground that in just a few short week, so much life will burst through. We have great plans for our gardens and yard here at the coffeehouse, it's hard to be patient! Having lived in the south with only 1 season to endure in a year - hot and less hot - what I missed most was the feeling on those first warm days of spring that under the warming sun, anything was possible!
To chase away any lingering winter blues, we turn out sights here at the coffeehouse to plans for our outdoor spaces. So many folks have said how much they enjoy our back patio. We love to hear that so we are planning to expand out outdoor areas by putting a gazebo out back to give even more seating space. Your feedback is important to us, and we are incorporating your wishes to increase that area. The bonfires last year, beer tent nights and corn hole games were so popular we want to build on that momentum! Stay tuned for updates on our progress in creating the perfect yard!
In other exciting news, we received our first delivery of all local milk this past weekend. What I didn't realize is that the price of milk has not changed in almost 30 years! What other product has kept the same price for that length of time? In an effort to do what we can, we have decided to support our local dairy farmers by participating in all-local milk deliveries. We'd love to share our experience.
And, lastly, dinners are back on Thursday nights here at the coffeehouse, and we love it when so many people stop in to have dinner here or to grab take out. To be able to meet your friends and enjoy a home-cooked meal so close to home is one of our favorite ways to participate in our community. We hope you will stop in soon!
With new menu items and different ideas put in to action here, isn't it time to check out what's going on right here on the common? See you soon!
I just love this time of year, as the leaves fall and our gardens get cleared out, we begin to plan for life indoors. While summer is not an ideal baking time, fall and winter provide us with a great reason to fire up the oven and warm the house with enticing smells of pumpkin, apple and spices!
Here at the coffeehouse, as we prepare for our first Harvest Dinner, we're looking to try new things to bake and share. The dinner menu has been posted on the website (MimisCoffeehouse.com), and we hope to see everyone who has taken a break from our dinners. The girls are hard at work preparing an extra special meal so please plan to join us Thursday.
The summer brought so many exciting changes, and we'd love your feedback on what you'd like to see more of and where we can still improve. How fun it is sharing our beautiful patio with everyone in our Beer Garden, and we cannot wait to start them again next spring! Change is coming to our backyard space so I hope you will be with us as we unveil our new patio area next year.
Donuts, you say? We are pleased to share that we will be starting donut sales again. Our previous supplier, Chmurra's, changed their delivery options and so it has been a while since we've been able to carry them but Steph has been hard at work finding new options. Come in to try Duva Bakeries' donuts. We can't wait to share them with you.
And lastly, it isn't too early to start planning your family get-togethers for Thanksgiving. Why stress about making all this food when we can help take that burden off your shoulders. Stop in and ask Steph and Emily about all the yummy catering trays we can create for you. Need a sandwich platter for an easy lunch gathering? Or how about a dessert tray with cookies, muffins or sweet breads? We can create whatever is sure to please in your price range so relax, we've got you covered!
As you can tell, things are humming along here, and we'd love to get your feedback while you enjoy a steaming pumpkin spice latte or a creamy hot chocolate with a homemade muffin. We look forward to seeing you here on the common.
d As I turned the calendar page to July yesterday, I realized again how quickly time passes! And, here we are approaching our 1 year anniversary, and things are hopping at the coffeehouse. We are a couple of months into our dinners on Thursday nights, and the response has been resoundingly positive. We are so glad you appreciate our effort. As we move forward, we'd love your feedback on dinners so far. What have been your favorite dinner options? What would you like to see us do more or maybe less? How can we improve what we do to better accommodate your needs? Let's hear you, Hardwick!
With our 1 year anniversary quickly approaching, we are hard at work planning some fun stuff. Currently, we have another soap party on the books for Friday, July 20 and spots are filling up fast so respond today to reserve your spot. Our last class filled quickly and space is limited; don't wait to put your names on the list. We have something extra special to kick off the class so stay tuned for more info.
Our new menu has been a success and your feedback really positive. Keep those comments coming on what you'd like to see us serve here at the coffeehouse. We've got new syrup flavors for some creative and new coffee drinks, and we'd love to create another just for you.
If you're able to stop in during the morning, you'll notice we bake every day so that the items in our bake case are as fresh as possible for you. Who knows, with my new bread cookbooks and hot off a bread-making class, maybe we can start to make our own fresh-baked bread. Things are always changing here so if you haven't been in in a while, maybe it's time for a visit. For example, did you know that we provide boxed lunches to Hardwick Winery on the weekends? While enjoying their amazing wines, you can snack on a freshly-made chicken salad sandwich or maybe a turkey bacon wrap. What a great way to spend an afternoon!
We've gotten so many great summer party catering orders, and we'd love to help make your event perfect. Need brunch ideas? Or how about a backyard pool party with family and friends? Ask us how we can take some of the burden off your shoulders while planning that fun summer party. We could offer to deliver your order if that would be helpful as well. Maybe you'd like to host a party at the coffeehouse (including that back patio); we're happy to help!
Things are changing, and we are so grateful to be a part of this community. Your support has been so important to us. We hope to see you soon for a cold beer with friends or a peaceful glass of wine in one of the rocking chairs. Everyday is a great day on the Common!
Phew! We made it through the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's! What a fun holiday season with Santa visiting the coffeehouse, our first Christmas party and a successful start to this new year. In January, we had a fun event with essential oils and in February, we made soap together. Both events were at full capacity, and we cannot wait to plan more functions!
Winter seems to always provide that quiet time to look ahead and plan out the year, and that is just what we are doing at the coffeehouse. With our liquor license successfully won, and our amazing staff trained and ready to pour, we can't wait to share some of our favorite beer and wine selections with you.
We are hard at work planning a fun wine-paring dinner, so be on the lookout for details about that March event. And, because our soap event was such a hit (with quite a few people even on a waiting list!), we plan to schedule more times to make all those great, all-natural items we've come to expect from Dr. Carolyn Bessette.
As we move through the year placing events on the calendar, we'd love to hear your thoughts on different ideas you'd like us to plan. Would you come to Trivia Night? How about a movie night? Want a wine tasting or beer tasting? Please feel free to suggest something that would excite you enough to join us in the coffeehouse! Or would you like to plan your own get-together at the coffeehouse?
Have you checked out our new menu? Steph and the girls have been hard at work creating a selection of super yummy breakfast and lunch items as well as fresh-baked goodies to snack on!
What I love about Hardwick is that we don't let a little snow or cold temps keep us down. We look forward to serving you soon. See you on the Common!
Over the last few weeks, so many of you have told me such great things about this awesome team we have at the coffeehouse. Over and over again, I have heard how well they handle your special requests with grace and ease. Back when the idea of this business was just starting to form, I had thought the most important thing I could do would be to select the right coffee or have the best made-to-order food. These last few months I have learned from everyone that those are things that can be found in many places but what keeps so many coming back to us are the smiling faces behind the counter.
I always appreciate the feedback on what is working and what may not be working but the common thread in so many conversations is how well this team does. Who doesn't enjoy going in to a business and knowing that the people working really do appreciate you? I give all the credit to these amazing women. As I watch them interact with each other and you, I know that the best thing we have done is to have put this team together.
It all started with Steph, and I couldn't be prouder of her managerial skills or in knowing that she has allowed this great team to blossom while being genuinely good at everything. I love watching Emily connect with everyone; she's so good with people and putting that together with her ability to do anything in the kitchen makes her such an important piece of the puzzle. These two together are great at coming up with the best ideas to steer the ship!
Caitlyn joined us for the fair in August and decided to hang around, running the weekend crew, and I am so glad she did. There isn't anything she can't do well! Our kitchen queen, Jeanne, is our only culinary school grad, and she comes up with the most delicious and creative baked goods. Her presentation skills and inspired cooking ideas make her such an important asset. She even MAKES our butter!! Samantha is such a fun person to have around, and if you want an amazing latte, she can steam/foam milk really well. Last, but not least, is our newest addition, Riley. She is eager to learn about everything we do, is a fast learner and super dependable in the kitchen.
Having helped out at the fair, and coming in to help when their busy schedules allow, our team is completed by Melissa and Kim who bring mad kitchen skills and in addition to being really good at what they do, are just fun to have around in a busy kitchen!
As we plan holiday events such as pie orders and Christmas parties, we will keep working hard to maintain that high standard everyone has come to expect from us. We hope you will consider us for your gift needs and our newest option is the coffee catering for coffee and espresso for your business or family events. We love being part of Hardwick, and look forward to seeing you on the common!
One of the things that I missed almost more than anything else when we lived in Florida was the turning of the leaves. It could also be the smells that are unique to fall but without a doubt, it was the colors bursting from the trees as they prepare to hunker down for a cold winter that I longed for every year. City dwellers can get the colors but they miss the joy of growing up with fall in smaller settings. The chore of raking leaves was inevitably followed by leaf wars that required you to re-rake every time. My memories are filled with images of jumping into huge piles of leaves and breathing in the last of the outdoors, listening to the sound of wind rustling through the drying leaves still on trees.
Here at the coffeehouse, we've taken down bright summer blossoms we enjoyed through the warm months and have replaced them with pumpkins and mums. The thermometer creeps slowly down, and our thoughts are turning to preparing for the upcoming winter but as long as possible, the porch and patio will remain open to soak up the last of the season's sun. What better place to watch the leaves turn to bright yellow, orange and red on the common?
As one would expect, we have seen a decline in demand for iced drinks but for those brave souls who crave a great cold brew in 10 degree weather, have no fear for we will not let you down! Mr. Large Iced Vanilla Latte, you can count on us! Find yourself needing an iced mocha to get your mojo on, you know where you can find us!
As for the food? Who doesn't love a cup of hot soup on a chilly day? Want something more substantial? Check out our specials because they do rotate, and you won't want to miss them. Yesterday's special sandwich was a spicy ham & cheese on a toasted pretzel roll. A-Maz-Ing! Last week we offered a chicken, sun-dried tomato, pesto wrap that was to die for! Friend us on Facebook to find out our specials. When the kids are in school, what better place to savor a hot Latte and enjoy a book, an easy chair and a fresh-baked muffin!
I would like to offer my continued thanks for everyone's support, and we look forward to seeing you on the common.
Is there any better way to kick start the day? One of my favorite aromas is the scent of coffee brewing in the house. Even if you do not drink coffee, the smell is still so appealing. But do we understand what coffee actually is? The beans you brew are actually the processed and roasted seeds from a fruit, which is called a coffee cherry. At the heart of the coffee cherry, side-by-side, lie two beans, each covered by its own skin.
In about 5% of the world's coffee, there is only one bean inside the cherry. This is called a peaberry (or a caracol), and it is a natural mutation. Some people believe that peaberries are actually sweeter and more flavorful than standard beans, so they are sometimes manually sorted out for special sale.
The appearance of coffee plants can range from small bushes to tall trees that are purple, yellow or the familiar dark green depending on the region but for the commercial coffee business there are only 2 species to know - Arabica and Robusto.
Coffea Arabica is descended from the original coffee trees discovered in Ethiopia. These trees produce a fine, mild, aromatic coffee and represent approximately 70% of the world's coffee production. The beans are flatter and more elongated than Robusta and lower in caffeine. On the world market, Arabica coffees bring the highest prices. The better Arabicas are high grown coffees — generally grown between 2,000 to 6,000 feet (610 to 1830 meters) above sea level — though optimal altitude varies with proximity to the equator.
Most of the world's Robusta is grown in Central and Western Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and Vietnam, and in Brazil. Production of Robusta is increasing, though it accounts for only about 30% of the world market. Robusta is primarily used in blends and for instant coffees. The Robusta bean itself tends to be slightly rounder and smaller than an Arabica bean.
Does knowing about the origins of coffee make it taste better? Probably not, for there are few things in life as satisfying as a good cup of coffee but selecting the right bean for your best cup can make all the difference.
Here at the Coffeehouse, we only select the best Arabica beans, and can't wait to share a cup with you. Don't forget to check out our daily specials to go with that cup. We look forward to seeing you on the common!
Image credits: Lilibeth Serrano - USFWS via Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, Michael C. Wright via Wikimedia Commons
It's back to school time, and even though my kids are older, I've always found this time so exciting. At the start of any new school year, everyone has the opportunity to reinvent himself and refocus on those goals that keep us moving forward. And, even though we aren't in school here at the Coffeehouse, we learn something new every day to help us be and do better.
With the fair behind us, we can take everything we've learned in these past weeks and fine-tune our goal of providing the best customer service and the freshest, well-prepared foods and drinks possible. The support we have received this past month reminds us why we are so grateful to be part of this great community. We take each comment and suggestion seriously and love that everyone helped us prepare and execute for the fair. From recipe suggestions to other thoughtful ideas, it truly was a team effort, and for that, we will be forever grateful. One good friend even stopped on her way to the doctor's with a great idea she had, and it's these small gestures that make us want to improve every day.
We did have a great time being part of the fair but I am also a little bit grateful that we have almost a year before we have to do all that over again! Now we can get back to making this coffeehouse run smoothly and efficiently with every latte, every sandwich and every bag of coffee we sell.
Moving forward, we'd love to host a book club or your play group get-togethers. With the kids back in school, need a place to meet friends after morning drop-off? We hope you will join us for a Hardwick Latte or a cup of soup and share your day with us. Need a gift card? They make great gifts and we can even build a gift basket in any price range. We'd love to partner with you to design the perfect gift!
Keep your suggestions coming, and we look forward to seeing you on the common!