Fall is in the air and there is nothing better than cozying up with a warm cup of coffee in the morning or for an afternoon pick-me-up at a local coffee shop. Champaign County makes a great destination to experience unique, locally owned coffee shops and a well-known coffee roastery.
We invite you to start your experience on the east side of the county in the Village of Mechanicsburg, just 30 miles from Columbus. Here you will find Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, founded 15 years ago with a mission to transform coffee communities through business. Owners Paul and Grace Kurtz have seen lives transformed, communities lifted out of poverty, pastors funded, debts paid in full, and relationships of mutual trust and respect established. Not bad for a cup of coffee! They shake the hand of the coffee farmer and in turn deliver a delicious product that you can feel good about. Be sure to ask about their newest product, craft chocolate!
Just up the street from Hemisphere you will find Simple Comforts, a coffee cafe and bakery where you can also purchase artisan produced crafts and fresh farmers’ market items. Owners, Mervin and Tammy Miller love their town and it shows! They worked diligently to restore the historic building and brighten the center of Mechanicsburg with their mission to create a place for people to gather who need hope, inspiration and rest.
Head to the county seat of Urbana to find the remaining stops on the Coffee Trail, all located in or near the town’s epicenter. First you will find a pretty in pink bakery, Let’s Eat Cake, a “cupcake boutique” specializing in cakes, cookies and brownies. Owner, Tina Knotts, will tell you that nothing pairs better with dessert than a cup of freshly brewed Hemisphere Coffee that Let’s Eat Cake serves fresh daily.
Just north of the roundabout you will find Teabaggers Coffee, Tea, & Wine Cafe. This locally-owned cafe offers handcrafted sandwiches, soups and salads accompanied by a full coffee and wine bar. Owners and “coffee designers” Grant and Demora Holcomb are passionate about delivering a quality product and will personally mix flavors to create a specific coffee taste for each customer.
Take a short walk down the street and you will find one of Urbana’s newest businesses, Downtown Nutrition. Here you will experience good vibes and healthy options including energizing teas, healthy meal shakes, and high protein coffee drinks. Owners Sammie and Michael Ropp have designed a beautiful and inspiring space where you won’t feel guilty about your menu choice. A high protein iced coffee contains only ten calories and two grams of sugar.
Next, travel a couple minutes north to The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse for caffeinated drinks and delicious desserts that are flavored by three special ingredients: product quality, spirit of service, and life of opportunity. Owner Bobbi McKee was inspired by her brothers, Eric and Levi, both born with Down’s Syndrome and her love of coffee to provide an open atmosphere and a workplace opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. As a result, you will receive a delicious, quality product served with a healthy dose of positivity!
The last stop on the Champaign County Coffee Trail is a restored 150-year-old train depot and the home of The Depot Coffeehouse. Here owners Susan and Dave Oelker have created a place for community, conversation and coffee frequently hosting local businesses, government organizations and civic groups, as well as featuring the work of local artists and musical guests. The Depot also had a dog-friendly patio, and is located on the Simon Kenton Bike Path allowing for easy access and outdoor dining.
For more information about the Champaign County Coffee Trail and other ideas for exploring Champaign County contact the Visitors Bureau at 937-653-5764 or go to visitchampaigncounty.com
Sara Neer is the executive director of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.