Coffee lovers, do you sometimes feel as if national chains have taken over your world? And does that make you a little sad? Not that you aren’t grateful for the drive through when you’re already late to work or a mid-afternoon slump has you craving some tasty concoction with a double shot of caffeine.
It’s all good. It gets the job done. But as proud member of the Local First Alliance, we want to remind you that shopping locally helps keep your money working within the towns where we live. When you fuel up with caffeine, you can also fuel the local economy. Independent coffee shops still dot the landscape, and five of the best can be enjoyed right here in the Monadnock area.
- Prime Roast Coffee Company on Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire, has been roasting its own coffee since 1993. Owner Judy Rogers started her coffee journey with a small 12-kilo roaster and has since grown the business into a multi-faceted enterprise that features coffee from Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia. Can’t make it to the shop? Join the Coffee Club, and the coffee of your choice will be delivered to your door weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
- Brewbakers, also on Main Street in Keene, is a family-owned business that prides itself on serving Terra Nova, its own brand of organic, small-batch, fair-trade roasted coffee. The shop also offers a variety of baked goods, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, soups, and sandwiches. Brewbakers is also a place to enjoy gallery shows featuring work by local visual artists, and a monthly open mic night for performance artists.
- Parker and Sons Coffee Roasting, on Jaffrey Road in Peterborough, New Hampshire, can perk you up with everything from a “Tall Black Eye” to a “Blondie.” If you’re one of those poor souls who finds coffee connoisseurship a difficult subject to master, you’ll love Parker and Sons’ website. It offers the most straightforward visual illustration of coffee drinks that a novice could ask for. One thing not to expect at Parker and Sons is coffee beans in a bag. They package their product in reusable, recyclable Mason jars.
- Mocha Joe’s Café, on Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont, is the brainchild of Pierre Capy, who transformed a shoe repair shop into a specialty coffee shop in 1991. More than two decades later, Mocha Joe’s is a wholesale supplier of fair-trade, organic coffee to more than 100 customers throughout the Northeast, and the café’s staff of seven is committed to keeping Mocha Joe’s an iconic Brattleboro institution. The café offers a variety of pastries to go along with your coffee, and tea lovers will also find gourmet tea.
- Union Coffee Company, on South Street in Milford, New Hampshire, sources its coffee from Flight Coffee Co., in Bedford, New Hampshire, and makes all of its organic coffee syrup flavors in-house. You may be rushing in and out of the café on a busy day, but Union Coffee invites you to linger. Pick up one of the house guitars and play a tune. Read a book from the lending library. Play a board game. Relax! Isn’t that supposed to be part of the specialty coffee experience?