…a coffee shop journal…
Every day now for months i have said “today is the day i will begin a committed effort to blog’–and so it went for almost all of 2015 ….until ….today… when i began.
So many things fill my head these days..when you meet and talk to as many people as I do at the coffee shop one begins to get a glimpse of this journey we are all on. The characters are different, the places they come from are too. Their stories are diverse but the common thread for all is what I am going to refer to from now on as The Human Experience Express and the engine of that train is the connection. And we like to add one more element to that connection which is to inspire creative living and a dash of community. Welcome to my life…..a coffee shop journal…
There are many elements to our coffee shop and they all create different emotions. First there is the initial ahhhhh …the ambiance that captivates our customers. The old distressed wood that covers our walls, which in themselves have a story deep within the grains, nails holes and layers upon layers of paint that has been sanded to create a gorgeous faux finish. All of our wood and doors are indigenous to our county, old houses and barns that were torn down and stripped of their ornamental decor became re-purposed coverings for us. The walls are then layered with framed photography often one will see magnified rain drops from Ireland. a local barn or old abandoned truck, sunrises and sunsets, abstract and realism all part of the creative art Rick brings to the shop.
Francesca is our lovely espresso machine she is a beautiful turquoise color with shiny silver accents , she demands your attention! Our coffee bar is the main attraction when you enter the shop as it stretches 20 feet. Discreetly hiding behind the counter are the workstations where delicious paninis are made using our homemade artisan bread and served with our yummy homemade pickles, parfaits are assembled with our house~made granola, yogurt and fresh fruit, plates of pastries are embellished with a dusting of cocoa, drizzle of honey or chocolate swirl. And then there is of course the coffee menu, smoothies, frappes, Italian sodas, lattes, cappuccinos etc……And let us not forget our trained staff, our baristas are taught the art of coffee, the beauty of presentation and the importance of connection. Each barista is inspired to be better each day, we created a space that encourages the dialog of who we are not just as a coffee shop but a town and county as well. They will tell you the must sees and what to try and any events that are taking place.
As you move along the bar you are intrigued and inspired by the stories told ……
Did you know we are The Mountain Biking Capitol of Georgia? We tell this story with a bike suspended from the ceiling that Mike who owns the Cartecay bike shop next door rode in a race once?
Did you know we are an Appalachian Trail Community and that the trail actually starts in our county? no worries if you didn’t you will meet our hiker made out of an old Mannequin we named her Fay after Fay Fuller, who was 22 years old when she summitted Mount Rainier on August 10, 1890 our mannequin stands next to a trail map showing that it goes all the way to Maine.
Did you know we are the Apple Capitol as well ? the back drop of the bar was once an old apple barn. complete with hand drawn apple tree that might look at bit like a Christmas tree with red ornaments and we feel sure was a creative piece of art for some family along apple alley.
Did you know we are in the Coosa Watershed and that three rivers meet in our town ? a kayak creatively painted with floats above you alongside a chalkboard wall that has a sketch of all the merging waterways. We took our best town assets and created visual, inspiring sculptures and creative chalk signs to tell the story-
As you near the end of the bar you approach the kitchen in the rear with its open window policy inviting you to poke your head in ~ you might begin to smell any number of goodies being prepared. The white subway tile and stainless steal demand your attention as well the kitchen island with its butcher block top and gloss white legs. The kitchen door by the way came from an old mercantile shop on River street back in the 30’s.
You then spot a large decanter which seems to be filled with water infused with lemons, oranges and a sprig of mint your directed to the canning jars under the counter where customers can help themselves to the water. As you fill your glass you peer into what appears to be yet another space. And yes there it is a lounge, complete with leather sofas, tables, bookshelves filled with all sorts of good reads, magazines, there’s even a fireplace and a table filled with assorted games.
At the rear of the lounge there are french doors with custom shades made from Ricks photography what will he think of next? The french doors lead to an outside courtyard. There is various outdoor seating, gliders to bistro tables , fire pits, a slate pathway is accented with herb gardens, flowers and Chinese maples , the rustic privacy fence has stained glass windows embedded in it and strings of lights give the courtyard a soft glow in the evenings.
Its been a lot to take in ‘this’ tour of The Martyn House In Towne coffee shop which from the front entrance with its purple awnings and red door looked so small at first glance. It just seems to keep going and expanding. The barista on duty, Rick or I usually have given you the tour unless you chose the self-guided tour and then you remember that you almost forgot that you came in to get coffee and now its your turn ……as you give us your order we might ask you what’s your story? Are you from here or visiting? and what do you do or have you done and even better what do you want to do now that you are here living in Ellijay ….AND …how can we help?
As you begin to leave you see there is a door behind you that you had not even noticed and there are steps leading up to it. Your told that is a quick way out to the side parking lot and then you enter yet another courtyard. This one has a brick patio, water fountain, there are double doors with red peeling paint and a holiday wreath accents it, there are several bistro tables and outside heaters. The walls are made of old wood siding on the inside and old tin on the outside the windows embedded in the walls you are told are from Eastern Europe and they are shutters with hand cranks to open them. You look up and see an iron staircase with a sign that says Lucas Imaging with an arrow pointing up to a separate entrance. You remember that there was an interior staircase when you entered the lounge but alas your mind can just take so much in ….there will be another day and another cup of coffee and you might also just ask them about that coded locked door you saw when you went to the rest room….you knew there was once a music venue but that was closed down last summer…….then there was a pop-up store in October…..and now ……hmmmm what will they be up to next?
I hope I have set the scene for my 2016 coffee shop journal….It is my intention whether you live here or not that you have a vivid idea of who we are and what we look like …we are artists, creatives with an expanded imagination, social butterflies, dreamers, connectors and community growers……join me on this journey this coming year as we board The Human Experience Express
about the author…JoAnn
I am an accomplished artist, designer and gardener with an admitted compulsion for natural intuitive healing and a spiritual connection with the earth. I am a lifelong serial entrepreneur, a creator of extraordinary ideas, and soon to be published author …..let the dreaming begin….