Special to the Messenger
ST. ALBANS — What is better than one coffee shop? Three coffee shops!
St. Albans has three locally owned coffee shops, The Traveled Cup, Catalyst Coffee Bar, and The Grind. All three of these shops are located in the heart of St. Albans on Main Street. With so many options it can be hard to pick where to indulge, but with some simple observations you can easily find the perfect fit for you.
Located on North Main Street next to the city hall, The Traveled Cup lures customers in with its homey feel and its charming logo of a steaming coffee mug. Underneath a chalkboard displaying a broad assortment of drink options ranging from Italian soda to mocha frappes, a worn down wooden counter disappears under brochures of local restaurants and a torrent of freshly baked unique goods such as lemon almond biscuits and pecan dream bars. Once you have ordered your heart’s desire from the reasonably priced menu, an array of seating is laid out before you, ranging from soft welcoming couches, to a circle of cozy chairs that invite you to sit and chat with your friends. They also provide outdoor seating for those wishing to enjoy the summer weather.
While some retire to The Traveled Cup to work on their most recent homework assignment, others go to simply to do a crossword puzzle or read a book while dining on a homemade salad. One such customer, Janine Masada, was doing exactly that when I approached to interview her. When asked what her favorite part about The Traveled Cup was, she seemed at a sort of loss for words; the cozy coffee shop has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that envelops you and makes you feel at home. When I asked Masada to describe the coffee shop in two words she said,“Positive and inviting.”
Although people of all ages cycle through the coffee shop, young adults and teenagers are especially attracted to the appealing and quirky atmosphere of the shop. So if you are simply dropping by to grab an iced coffee or if you intend to stick around longer, The Traveled Cup is a great option.
Located on South Main Street, The Grind has tons of food and drink options for you to try.
Ever wanted to try bubble tea? How about a grilled PB&J? The Grind has plenty of unique food options for you to try. Barista Samantha River-Burch described The Grind in two words, “Creative and quirky.”River-Burch said her favorite part of her job is, “making the coffee, and meeting new people.” Asked if they have any regular customers, River-Burch said, “Some customers come every day, or once a week.”
When you walk into The Grind, the first thing you might see, is the huge coffee roaster to your right. All the coffee is roasted on site. You will notice that not much lighting is needed, as the big windows give plenty of light, making the space feel open, and comfortable.
As for kid friendly, The Grind is a great place to take your kids. They have board games and a small back room for kids to play in. There is plenty of seating, along with bar seating that allows for you to watch the coffee making process as well. River-Burch said that the longest she’s ever seen someone stay at The Grind is about five hours. “They just sat and talked, for five hours!” she said.
Out of all the coffee shops on Main Street, The Grind has the least expensive hot chocolate, only $2.25. Another unique aspect of the The Grind is the events they host such as open mics and karaoke. The Grind is a great place to take your kids, study in peace, or meet up with friends, with its comfortable environment, great service, and large menu, The Grind offers a happy experience for all.
Read the full story in Friday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.