I tried every way I could think of to fit MorningSide Coffee House into my A-Z Challenge, and W was the only appropriate letter that was going to work. (This was in early April – I had most of my A-Z calendar planned by then.) I already had my C, J and M posts scheduled (or published), so coffee, java, MorningSide and mocha were out. I took another look at my blog calendar. … W was taken, but it was the only thing I could bump without messing up my plan.
Hey, no one said the letter match-ups had to be scientific.
In fact, right after I signed up for the challenge, one observer – come to think of it, the guy in front of me at MorningSide – told me that The Joy of X didn’t start with an X. I told him it didn’t matter; the book title contains an X, the pickings for X are slim, and this math book is way more exciting to me than xylophones or xenophobia. (He’s a math teacher, so maybe he’ll read the book and feel the love, too.)
Wes and the gang at MorningSide are sort of like the gang at Cheers (“where everybody knows your name … and they’re always glad you came”), although there’s no Norm sitting at the bar. Come to think of it, there’s no bar, exactly. But there are plenty of comfy chairs and sofas, and even outdoor seating where you can enjoy a little piece of sunshine while you sip and eat. (Haven’t we all needed some sunshine lately?)
No sarcastic barmaids, either, and for that I’m grateful. (I don’t think I could handle Carla Tortelli at 7:45 on a Monday morning.)
Oh, wait. There is a Carla!
Except MorningSide Carla is nice, doesn’t yell at the customers and doesn’t insult the boss (at least not that I’m aware of).
And, while there’s no gang calling out “NORM!” when the door opens, sometimes Wes calls out a cheery “Hi, Suzy!” when I barge through the door.
Yep. He knows my name.
I try to drop by MorningSide once a week or so, just to support my local coffeehouse, if not my coffee habit (and maybe my ego). I don’t need to pay someone to make my coffee; I simply like – no, I absolutely love – the idea of small businesses, small-business owners, entrepreneurship and community spirit.
MorningSide represents those things to me.
I don’t know the names of half of the people I see at MorningSide (hence, it’s only sort of like Cheers), but they always seem to be glad I came. 🙂 In fact, one morning Wes seemed to be in such a cheer-y mood that he gave me a hug! (TGIF, maybe?)
All right, not everyone seems to be glad I came. I occasionally get a funny look from someone in line who seems to be wondering, “Do I know her? Why is she looking directly at me as she speaks?” (Obviously, these are not “morning people” and MorningSide is doing them a great service by pouring them very strong coffee upon request. In fact, it helps that Wes and his peeps know some customers’ regular orders without those folks’ even having to make intelligible sounds. Because, frankly, it would just be too difficult to speak these things out loud. Or so it seems. They NEED MorningSide. These are the folks Dave Barry would categorize as medically needy. These are the folks who are ME occasionally – especially if it’s close to Friday.)
The conversations at MSCH range from coffee (duh) to sports to charitable causes to painting.
At MorningSide, I learn things. I make friends. I get inspired by people. I sign up for classes (Paint Night at the art gallery!). I buy items I don’t need (hello, hand-stitched keychain, little coin purse, little what-nots) because the proceeds help those less fortunate.
I chat up people in line in front of me, not always successfully (see above).
I learn things about coffee. Wes always has some story, and sometimes the people in line tell me how they like their coffee – usually because I ask them. (One lady puts a couple of bay leaves in hers at home … interesting.)
I meet lots of hardworking young people, who work for Wes because they need part-time jobs while they’re in school. The young women are sweet and cheery (a prerequisite, right?), the young men are mostly quiet (haven’t had their own caffeine infusions yet, perhaps?), and everyone is helpful and friendly.
Jolts of java aren’t the only menu items at MorningSide Coffee House. Smoothies (hooray!), sandwiches, veggie bar thingies (I can never think of what they call ’em, but they’re delish), banana bread, fig bars (oh. my. goodness!), cranberry scones … you get the idea. A weight-conscious girl could get her butt pulled over by the carb police. But who cares? Who needs caffeine to get her buzz on when there are those fig bar things? (Well. I do.)
And Wes is always trying new ways to draw folks in. He is an awesome cook, and his most recent addition is … WAFFLES!
I will not waste a lot of time here explaining how yummy these homemade waffles with fresh fruit are. (I like the strawberry; Bruce prefers blueberry; it’s all good.)
Because, hello? I would spend the rest of the day talking about waffles. So I will simply tell you this:
GET OVER THERE AND EAT YOU SOME WAFFLES.
They’ll be glad you came.
616 Harrison St.
Batesville, AR 72501
Phone: (870) 793-3335
Hours: 7:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. weekdays and 8:00 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.
MorningSide on Facebook
Tomorrow: Hey, guess what! It’s The Joy of X!
Follow me on Twitter: @OakleySuzyT