Located just blocks from Taylor’s campus on Main Street, The Bridge has become a breeding ground for classic campus community.
Cathy Kerton-Johnson opened The Bridge in May 2015 to provide a place of fellowship and community. Specifically, Kerton-Johnson wanted to “bridge” the gap between the local universities and the community of Grant County.
As stated on its website, The Bridge says it “seeks to cultivate an atmosphere of respect, warmth, and laughter by creating a warm space and serving the highest quality coffee and food.”
Assistant Manager Bethany Berning said even before working at The Bridge, she admired how the cafe sought to bring people together in fellowship. Comfy chairs, large tables and outdoor seating fill the small space with plenty of opportunities to gather with friends. The shop even seeks to cater to its youngest patrons, children, with a play kitchen and other toys.
All around, thriving greenery and modern farmhouse decor create a cozy environment. According to Manager Jaimie Hughes, Kerton-Johnson has intentionally pulled inspiration from European cafes she’s visited to create a welcoming atmosphere.
“I love the natural light and plants in The Bridge,” sophomore Grace Fee said. “It makes the space and the environment more organic.”
All of these things tie into the central slogan of the cafe, “Where our worlds meet.”
Additionally, the cafe seeks to conduct business in a way that promotes their values. For example, The Bridge sources all of its ingredients and products from local, organic and sustainable vendors. The Bridge shows their values by paying their employees a living wage.
“We thrive on challenging the status quo and creating something bigger than ourselves,” The Bridge posted on its website. “Our mission is to be a space that fosters a community comprised of everyone in Upland while promoting local business and stewarding the environment.”
Berning has been a longtime supporter of the cafe and said she has always loved how well it catered to dietary restrictions or needs.
Looking toward this school year, she’s eager for the surge of community-oriented students coming to enjoy The Bridge.
“I’m excited for the energy and Christ-based community that comes with the school year,” Berning said. “Even now, it’s great to see people coming in to fellowship with one another and have Bible studies.”
During the school year, The Bridge often hosts small concerts or art displays from local artists. Berning said anyone looking to display their artistic talents or wanting to organize any events should contact her.
The Bridge is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.