While venue hunting Brendan and I took a trip up north to Traverse City, MI. We were frustrated and bordering the line of hungry and hangry. So we took the advice from our GPS and stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant outside of The Village. Without getting too much off topic, if this was a food blog (which I could turn it into one pretty easily, I suppose) I’d definitely recommend Spanglish if you’re in the area.
Next door was Higher Grounds Trading Company—a coffee shop that looked pretty modern from the outside. Before the drive back coffee was a necessity so we walked over for a good cup of joe. Now for those of you who don’t know, The Village in Traverse City used to be the Northern Michigan Asylum until they renovated it and turned it into an indoor marketplace. Higher Grounds is in a building outside of the main building and used to be the hospitals laundry facility. The coffee shop had a pleasant atmosphere and it seemed to have been where the locals flocked to get coffee.
Brendan ordered a chai tea as per usual and I decided to try a “Sugar Plum Fairy Latte”—a seasonal drink they had on special. The drinks were good but what stuck out to us the most was something that I’ve been waiting to see since I watched a random video on Facebook: they didn’t have to-go cups. Or rather, they did but they were typical ceramic mugs like the ones you would find at Goodwill. The barista explained that if we were staying, we would get the nice mugs that you normally would use at a coffee shop but if we wanted our drinks to go, he would give us one of those mugs. The kicker here is that they don’t keep track if you bring it back. They keep a box outside of the shop for you to drop it back off if you wish.
Talk about sustainable!
I’ve heard of coffee shops in other countries refusing to use paper cups but unfortunately, I haven’t seen any other coffee shop in Michigan, let alone in the U.S., do this. Not using paper cups isn’t the only thing they do that makes them sustainable but it’s definitely a move that other shops should start to make if they want to improve our communities. That being said, it got me thinking that we as coffee drinkers could bring our own reusable mugs when grabbing coffee to go. So for now, Higher Grounds Trading company is definitely on top thus far!