by Nicole Livingston
Located in the cluster of buildings across from what used to be Ben Franklin’s and the Cheney Trading Company is Coffee Connections.
The coffee shop occupies the same spaces as the dessert shop, Dessert Pals.
According to Marissa Dizon, owner of Dessert Pals, the two businesses occupy the same space in order to keep overhead costs low and so customers can have the best of both worlds: sweets and coffee.
The shop’s coffee comes out of Hangman Valley from local coffee roaster Tom Sawyer Country Coffee. It is used in all the coffee drinks and can be bought by the bag.
For the caffeine conscious, non-coffee drinks are available as well. Included on the limited list are bagged tea, chai tea, hot cocoa and italian sodas.
The only non-dairy alternative available is soy milk.
Those who use almond or rice milk are, unfortunately, out of luck. In addition to non-dairy products, sugar-free syrups are available.
Employee Amanda Helms recommends that customers try a double shot, 12-ounce breve. A breve is an espresso drink made with half and half rather than using traditional milk.
She says the cream complements the flavor and body of the coffee and allows people to really taste the coffee.
For $7.35 customers can buy a chai tea, a 16 ounce Americano and two Nanaimo bars, provided that the bars are sold at a discount. Regularly, two silky rich Nanaimo bars are $4.50.
Nanaimo bars are made with a graham cracker, chocolate and walnut crust with a creamy coconut filling topped with a chocolate ganache.
The health-conscious and those who cannot handle rich desserts should think twice before purchasing this treat.
One cannot compliment the chai tea in the same way. Customers have the choice of having the drink made with milk or hot water.
However even when made with milk, the creaminess factor that is typical of the drink is lost at this shop.
Within ten minutes the coffee was still hot, which is good for hot drink consumers.
However, this time frame could differ from person to person being as everybody has a different level of temperature sensitivity.
Service is fast and friendly. On a slow day, the wait is no longer than five minutes.
Again, this could change on a busy day as with most coffee shops.
Customers have to pay at two separate places if they are getting dessert and a drink. It is inconvenient, but as the shop holds two different businesses it is understandable.
The décor and atmosphere leave something to be desired.
Upon entering, the eyes have no place to settle since the dessert shop also sells gifts. Walls are lined with shelves holding crafts and gift baskets.
The space is reminiscent of a grandmother’s dining and craft room.
Light lavender walls with floral arrangements and floral wall stickers create an atmosphere that one would be comfortable taking their mother or granny to for an afternoon tea.
Though it is not likely to find a group of college students rushing to Coffee Connection, it can cater to an older demographic.
The quiet, small setting would be ideal for a book club or a study spot, which is what employee Madison Heersink said she likes about the space.
In addition, the customer is left wondering what to look at and where to go first.
The area is stuffed with so many things including tables and chairs, gift baskets and floral arrangements.
On top of the dessert case are several different gift baskets, which makes it difficult for patrons to point out what they want to the person behind the case because they can’t see what the customer is pointing at.
Helms says that a student discount is in the works, which may be what they need to coerce the college demographic in to entering the shop.
Shop brings coffee, desserts into one place
By Nicole Livingston