By Marian Douglas | Echo
A new logo has arrived on Upland's Main Street. Emblazoned on the building that separates Ivanhoe's and Dollarsmart, this sign heralds the coming of Upland's third coffee shop: Joe on the Go.
This coffee shop will open its doors on May 8 for a soft opening.
According to Scott Blakely, the associate director of the nonprofit who runs Joe on the Go, this soft opening is meant to go at a slower pace than a grand opening would. They plan to simply open the doors.
Joe on the Go will later hold a full-fledged grand opening. This will take place in either late May or early June.
"We have baristas who are still learning," Blakely said. "We have a soft opening so they can get used to making drinks and the whole process."
Joe on the Go is a part of Community and Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit that operates several different programs in and around six Indiana counties. The tagline for Community and Family Services is "empowering people to improve." All of the profit from Joe on the Go and Community and Family Services' other programs is used to help support individuals who are experiencing economic distress.
"We say coffee is just the vessel," Blakely said. "The bigger thing is that we are trying to help people get on their feet-to help the community."
Joe on the Go's employees will include members of the community, students and people in the midst of economic distress. The coffee shop will help provide things like housing and child-care for employees who need the assistance, and it will also help employees return to school.
"We don't want this to be a career for these individuals, but rather a stepping stone to help them get to the place they'd like to be." Blakely said in a February 23 SEGway article.
The Upland branch is the second Joe on the Go location. The first location opened in Portland, Indiana, in May 2016. During its first year of operation, this location received 42 reviews from customers on Facebook, all five stars. It also received an award for being one of 2016's Innovators of the year from Jay County's Chamber of Commerce.
Cathy Kerton-Johnson, who owns The Bridge Cafe, first heard rumors in early February that a new coffee shop might be opening. A friend told her about the potential coffee shop, underlining that the business would be competition for The Bridge.
"She asked me, 'Does that make you scared?'" Kerton-Johnson said during a meeting of the Upland Chamber of Commerce. "I said, 'No.' My instinct was let's grow Upland. Let's meet them and ask, 'How can we help you?'"
Kerton-Johnson also pointed out that the niches of the shops would be different. Joe on the Go specializes specifically in coffee. According to Kerton-Johnson, "The Bridge isn't a coffee shop; it's a place to meet. We're more than coffee."
Joe on the Go will move into what used to be in the Pacesetter Bank building and will not have a full kitchen like The Bridge does.
The coffee shop will get its coffee through Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea, an award-winning coffee roastery, which Roast Magazine named Macro Roaster of the Year in 2016. Joe on the Go will also work with local sources to help provide sweets for the store. This includes working with Ball State culinary classes to make cinnamon rolls, according to Blakely.
Joe on the Go has not released a menu for the Upland branch yet. If it is similar to Joe on the Go's Portland location, everything will cost less than $5. For those interested in what might be served at this new coffee shop, the menu for the Portland branch can be found on Joe on the Go's Facebook page.