Edward Sharpe plays over the stereo, providing the soundtrack to the scene of the moment, and is a fitting choice. Currently there are only a handful of people in the shop, and it makes for a peaceful atmosphere. Outside, it is in the single digits, but inside, the scene is a little different. There’s the warm hum of espresso being ground and the whirling of the steam wand. There’s the scent of freshly baked bread, made from scratch and cooling on the speed rack. There’s the individual sounds of conversations being had, merging into one positive sound of human interaction.
It is strange to look back at the days – hardly two years ago – when a “slow” day such as this, was considered a busy one. How the times have changed! We’ve experienced so much growth as a business and as part of the community over the past couple of years. More and more people are discovering The Hag, and loving what she has to offer – and we couldn’t be more grateful! It’s like Jenn says: “We have the best customers in world!”
It’s Sunday afternoon, and for most of us, this year’s Thanksgiving festivities have come to a close. If you’re like the majority of Americans, you undoubtedly spent an unusually long amount of time preparing and consuming an unusually large amount of food this Thanksgiving. You’re also probably still feeling like you’re in a food coma even as you shift your attentions toward the upcoming madness of December. Awe, the joys of the season…
This is the point at which I remind all of you to be thankful for what you have, and to think of those less fortunate this holiday season. I encourage all of you to do your part in helping other members of the community by donating to the local food shelf. This year, as in years before, The Coffee Hag will be accepting non perishable food donations for the ECHO food shelf here in Mankato. And, yes, I am perfectly aware of the cliché of holiday food collections.
To be 100% honest – I’m a little reluctant to even post this. Why? Because those who are hungry aren’t only hungry between Thanksgiving and Christmas, they’re hungry year round. Though they are well intentioned, and do help some, a holiday specific food drive is too specific, and doesn’t take into account the other ten months of the year people go hungry. According to a recent USDA study, hunger in the United States is at a record high – three times as many people in this country struggle to pay for food than just four years ago. That’s a staggering statistic and a hard reality for about 17 million Americans.
That’s why, I not only want to encourage all of you to donate this holiday season, but to make it an all year round priority. Take your donations directly to the food shelf, or leave them at The Hag and we’ll forward them on to ECHO, now and throughout the year.
We’ve gone and done it! Finally. I want to welcome you to The Coffee Hag blog and to this, the very first post. Make sure you check back often for regular updates, notes, and Hagalicious randoms.
This being yet another beginning in a long history of Hag beginnings, it seems fitting to go back to – well, the beginning. That was 1992, and The Coffee Hag was the first authentic coffee house in the area. Founded on principles of feminism, equality, social responsibility and community – and though things weren’t always easy back then – The Hag thrived in the hands of her original owners, Patti Rusky and Lisa Coons. In time, The Hag became a favorite hang-out, and at times even a sanctuary for many members of the Mankato community and surrounding areas.
Ownership of The Hag changed hands a number of years ago, and then changed hands once more in 2007 when Jenn Melby and Beth Bundy took over the driver’s seat. Since then, The Hag has gone through many changes. Some of those changes were made to restore what once was, in the beginning, while many other changes have been made in an effort to usher The Hag into the next stage of her life. She was born in 1992, which means The Hag isn’t a baby any more. She is a woman with many years ahead of her, as many more things to accomplish.