‘They spoke, we listened’

Essex Heart and Soul brings six coffee shops to Essex


heart-handshakeThe people of Essex have asked for a coffee shop, so Heart and Soul of Essex is bringing six to town. Later this month, temporary coffee shops will pop up at Darkroom Gallery and My Little Cupcake.

Heart and Soul will provide hot and iced coffee, tea, lemonade, baked goods and smoothies made from a bike-powered smoothie maker. All items will be free. In addition to giving residents a chance to mingle and meet neighbors, the coffee shops will offer a variety of board games and some live music performances.

“These coffee shops are a valuable opportunity for Heart and Soul to bring all the ideas and feedback we’ve received and put them into action in a fun, interactive, and engaging format.  One of the top responses facilitators heard during the Neighborhood Conversations was, ‘We need a coffee shop!’” said Heart and Soul Committee member Kat Redniss. “Essex community members are clearly looking for a place to meet-up, chat, get some delicious local treats in a setting that is friendly to a diverse, inter-generational crowd.  So, they spoke, we listened and we’re thrilled to offer these six events as a starting place for action.”

The coffee shops will pop up at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, May 23, 2:30-5 p.m. at Darkroom Gallery
  • Thursday, May 23, 6-8 p.m. at my little cupcake
  • Friday, May 24, 6-9 p.m. at Darkroom Gallery
  • Thursday, May 30, 2-5 p.m. at Darkroom Gallery
  • Thursday, May 30, 6-8 p.m. at my little cupcake
  • Friday, May 31, 6-9 p.m. at Darkroom Gallery

Darkroom Gallery is located at 12 Main Street, Essex Junction. My Little Cupcake is located at 4 Carmichael Street, Suite 101, Essex. Both businesses have donated their retail space for the coffee shops.

“We at Darkroom Gallery are thrilled to be involved in this project,” said Gallery Manager Damaris Drummond. “Our business is committed to revitalizing downtown Essex Junction and hosting family friendly events here.”

Heart and Soul of Essex is a citizen-led initiative that received a grant from the Orton Family Foundation to celebrate Essex’s history, identify common values and search for a unified vision.

Heart and Soul is seeking volunteers to staff the coffee shops and help with set up and clean up. To volunteer or for more information about the coffee shops, contact Gabrielle Smith at gsmith@ccsuvt.org or Kat Redniss at kat@brownelllibrary.org.