By Kassidy Weemhoff | Life & Times Co-Editor
It's brisk outside. You find yourself thirsty for a hot beverage to warm your soul, and suddenly you remember the $5 you found in your old sweatshirt pocket yesterday. Immediately you jump in your car, intending to end up at Starbucks. But then you stop.
You remember that only 7.9 miles down E 700 St. sits the eclectic town square of Hartford City, Indiana. This city is home to endearing local businesses like Common Grounds coffee shop and Attic Window Thrift Store, not to mention the numerous rustic backdrops for your next Instagram-worthy photo shoot.
Instead of purchasing another chain beverage, you choose to enjoy a steamy chai latte in the wonderful company of Katie Rich and Brian Ross, co-workers at Common Grounds and successful small business owners. This, you decide, was a much more productive way to "treat yo' self" than spending time adding to the funds of corporate coffee.
Hypotheticals aside, intentionality is important when it comes to local outreach. A trip to a local town like Hartford City is one way we, as college students, can both pour into and enjoy the community outside of Taylor using the time and resources we have been blessed with.
Common Grounds, for example, is a hidden gem only one minute farther from campus than Starbucks, just in the opposite direction. Walking in, you see a collection of tables, different themes visible by the clusters of antiques adorning each one. The chalkboard menu holds endless options including house made pastries, soups and sandwiches. Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, Common Grounds also carries a multitude of breakfast options.
Rich and Ross both said they would like to see more students coming in. Hartford City, they said, is a gem of a town many Taylor students do not know exists, but should consider stopping by to see. Eager for fresh faces, Rich and Ross said to spread the word that they would love to see you there.
Another shop that is using its platform to pour into the community is Attic Window Thrift Store, located a few stores down from Common Grounds. Rows of clean, neatly organized clothes are displayed along with toys, furniture and other household necessities. Multiple friendly faces greet you as you walk in, and the deals are endless.
The best part about thrifting here is each purchase goes directly to supporting the Muncie Mission, which pours back into the surrounding areas. Attic Window offers affordable options for members of Harford City and surrounding areas.
With a regal courthouse standing tall at the center of the town square, this city has more to offer than most Taylor students realize. If you are looking for an affordable breakfast spot, new afternoon hang out, photoshoot location, change of scene or a place to serve, Hartford City, with all of its unsung beauty, is your next destination.