The Local Grind Coffee House, Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina
By Ginny McKinney, Marshmallow Ranch
Jessie Walls was a bartender for twelve years. She was “over the bar scene” yet she loved the mixology aspect as well as contact with the customers. It wasn’t a very big stretch for her to determine a coffee shop would give her both. Jessie purchases her beans from Charleston Roasters, a small-batch local roaster. Most of their beans are organic unless you get into some of their blends. They also sell loose leaf teas.
The Local Grind offers a simple sandwich menu along with in-house baked goods. (I had the carrot cake which was divine!) local artists are featured as well as Art and Music Nights. Located in an original 1940’s Murrell’s Inlet cottage, you can sit in the garden room complete with live fig ivy walls. Jessie hopes you will step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and relax for a while, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Local Grind Coffee House
880 Inlet Square Dr.
Murrell’s Inlet, SC 29576
River Blend Coffee House, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
by Ginny McKinney
Lisa Nieslanik and AJ Hasbrouck have always loved quaint little coffeehouses. This mom/daughter duo decided to take the plunge and open their own place when Lisa retired. While AJ always dreamed they would open on a beach somewhere, they both were thrilled when the opportunity for the perfect space presented itself at the perfect time.
Located off the lobby of the Hotel Denver, directly across the street from the Amtrak Station in Historic Downtown Glenwood Springs, CO, you would be hard pressed to find a more suitable place for River Blend Coffeehouse to open. On any given day of the week, this bustling little venue serves up locally roasted Bonfire Coffee and handcrafted pastries from a local baker.
The biggest reward this team has gained are the stories they hear from their customers about the history of this lovely mountain town. Lisa and AJ love sharing their town with the tourist who flock in to visit and grab a leisurely cuppa on the sidewalk cafe outside their door. Come sit awhile and gaze up at the Glenwood Adventure Park with their rides high above the canyon wall or listen for the whistle of the California Zephir as it pulls into the train station. You’ll find yourself coming back again and again.
River Blend Coffee House
402 7th Street, Suite #120
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Hours: 6am – 2pm Daily
by Ginny McKinney
Growing up in an Italian home taught Aaron Badolato the true joys of food. He and his wife, Anne, enjoyed the plethora of delis and bakeries available in the Denver Metro area, but when they relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2012, they were hard pressed to find the quality and variety they had become accustomed to. Out of frustration, they developed that coffee shop/bakery/cafe they wanted to frequent in the form of Sweet ColoraDOUGH.
Located on the main drag at the south end of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, this quaint little shop opened in May 2014. The last year has far exceeded their expectations as they serve locally roasted coffees and a variety of sweets and savouries from finely tuned recipes they developed themselves.
When asked what his most popular coffee drink served at Sweet ColoraDOUGH is, Aaron readily responds with “The Dirty Hippie!”…a blend of coffee, spicy chai, mocha, and steamed milk. A must try!
With a staff of 24, this locally owned shop gives back to the community that supports it by handing out over 500,000 donuts to over 600 organizations in the past year alone. Whether just passing through, or making Glenwood Springs your vacation hotspot, Sweet Colorado will fill the bill with their freshly roasted coffees, baked goods, and light dining fare.
by Ginny McKinney
Lying in bed on a rainy night, I was serenaded by the sound of the rain on the roof tapping rhythmically against the windows. Then, the distant sound of the train joined in. The horn sent warning signals into the damp air, the squeaks and squeals of the metal wheels on the metal tracks added to the melody.
I LOVE the sound of trains. I’m from Phoenix, AZ and when it comes to transportation, Arizona is so different from the East Coast or the Midwest where ports and trains and barges are so prevalent. Rails and rivers intrigue me as I travel across America. On one of my road trips I took advantage of these people movers and parked at the outskirts of the edge of New York City, Boston, and Chicago metropolitan areas and took the train. It was GLORIOUS!!
I exited each train at their respective Union Stations. In Chicago they were having a gala event and the hubbub created a lively energy. Boston offered a ton of movement as it was Day 1 of Occupy Boston. For NYC I actually parked in the Bronx then took the subway to Battery Park and walked to Times Square. All aboard!
All over the US we are seeing the re-gentrification of our downtown areas. In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s the suburbs became the focal point as people desired new homes, new schools, new stores and many of our downtowns became dirty, fast-paced and undesirable.
Not any more! It’s everywhere! Small towns and big cities alike are creating community in the town square and the local businesses that surround it. My hometown of Denver has remodeled our Union Station and made it a destination for visitors. I can’t get enough of the 50 foot ceilings and comfortable surroundings where you can find a local coffeehouse, small boutiques and local craft beer!
It’s even been dubbed “Denver’s Living Room”. Come out for a visit!