Taylor Budzikowski | The Echo
The local coffee shop Joe on the Go will close its doors today.
"The whole point of the business was to be a non-for-profit so that we could help the community," Joe on the Go Employee and junior Sarah Bade said.
The iconic Crimson Cup has called Upland home since May 2016.
Bade has worked at Joe on the Go since it opened. She explained the value the coffee shop places on community involvement. For instance, the coffee shop employs individuals who cannot obtain a job elsewhere. Additionally, Joe on the Go offered free coffee during many community events, such as the tree lighting in the Upland Park in December.
Despite the coffee shop's community impact, Joe on the Go has experienced numerous management changes since it opened that have both helped and hurt the coffee shop.
Also, the Joe on the Go in Portland, Indiana moved locations. While relocating, the Portland location could not financially support the Upland location.
"I just feel like the dynamic has changed, and (Joe on the Go is) moving in a different direction," Bartlett said.
Upland has many coffee shops including Joe on the Go, The Bridge and The Jumping Bean. Since Starbucks will be opening next fall on Taylor's campus, manager of Joe on the Go Abigail Bartlett explained Joe on the Go may not be necessary to the community any longer.
Since Joe on the Go announced it will be closing on March 31, Upland community members, Taylor students and faculty have expressed their disappointment.
"I think there is a community here in Upland that Joe on the Go has been able to connect with that is different than some of our other establishments in town, especially those that are kind of on the go," Assistant Professor of English Carie King said.
King appreciates that Joe on the Go is quick and consistent. She can count on Joe's quality freshly brewed coffee daily. Also, the coffee shop features a drive-thru which is beneficial to the working population in Upland.
Likewise, Joe on the Go offers their private rooms free of charge to community groups and students. The space is often used by the Upland Library Board, Alcoholics Anonymous and Bible studies.
"They were a coffee shop with a really good mission," senior Maddie Weeden said. "A lot of my friends worked there."
Weeden often walked from Taylor to Joe on the Go to work on homework. She and Joe on the Go employee and senior Hannah Davis helped renovate Joe on the Go during Spring of 2018.
Joe on the Go represents a melting pot of Taylor University and the Upland community, Bartlett said. The coffee shop and the people who work there will be greatly missed once it has closed.
Yet, Joe on the Go's mission remains to support the community even in their last month of business.
"We are very excited for Upland and Starbucks coming," Bartlett said. "Whatever everyone else is saying, we stand behind the community and if they are supportive of it, then we are too."