To begin the Coffee Shop Trials


Coffee connects us in so many ways–to each other, to our senses, and to the earth that supports the coffee trees.”–Rohan Marley


Coffee shops are truly the place where like-minded and differently minded people cross paths, share smiles and settle in with their fix, if only for a moment. Although, as my Nonfiction professor told me a year ago (and I’m paraphrasing), you must find the right coffee shop for you…everyone has different things they like and dislike about coffeeshops. For instance, that professor dislikes coffeeshops where the writer types pretentiously on their laptop. I, however, am that writer typing on their laptop and I find solace in that. Finding a coffee shop that you can be loyal to is kind of a slow process to be honest because there are so many different ones out there. In little Bay City, Michigan there are at least six coffee shops that seem to be doing rather well. I have been to all of them and I can tell you—like the people that enter their doors each shop has a different personality with one commonality: coffee and tea. Mostly coffee.

My favorite shop in Bay City has to be Populace Coffee. They recently opened last fall and I immediately fell in love with the minimalist vibe. Maybe I was just missing having a coffeeshop to call home but I walked in on their first “Free coffee day” with my boyfriend and even he had began gushing about how they recycle and have “eco-products.” There was something else that I enjoyed too though. I wasn’t sure what that something was until after a few months of coming around. Have I mentioned finding your favorite coffee shop takes time?

This little coffee shop did not take long to reach out to the community. Shortly after following them on Facebook, my Newsfeed was sprinkled with events from them. They had “Yoga & Coffee” days lined up once every other month or so; they even had Storytime for the kids on Saturdays. Recently one event that I’ve been dying to go to is one in which one of the baristas teaches a class on the perfect cup of coffee. One day, I won’t be working so I can check it out. Until then, I enjoy sitting in the back writing or reading with a bagel and coffee in front of me. The people that seem to come in are a various collection of people—young and old, couples and singles, groups of friends sharing in one another’s company and Downtown employees stopping in for a quick drink. Almost every Monday that I come in there is a guy not that much older than me sitting in the back corner with medical books, flashcards, and other studying materials. I, a writer, is sitting only two tables away typing. Despite how different he and I probably are, we share in a smile and iced coffee in silence and go about our day. I suppose the diversity of people that come in could be said about many other shops I’ve been in but here, I feel a peace in their brightly lit and simple coffee shop.

The menu is even simple, despite how much the baristas know. And these ladies are truly wizards with coffee! The coffee is on the expensive side, however, it’s worth it! Actually, if you want just plan drip coffee, it’s only $2 and last time I had it (I can’t recall the specific blend at the time), it was beautifully strong. Strong enough to get me through my crushing finals last semester. They also make their own bagels which aren’t too bad in my opinion, although you may very well have a completely different set of tastes than I do! After all, coffee lovers are like-minded but also very differently-minded people.

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