I’m currently working on a book that involves me visiting antique stores throughout the valley. One afternoon, my friend and I went up to Camp Verde to rummage through their antique stores. Sweet Pea Antiques and Ruby Road Resale Road, by the way, offer some awesome finds. I found a couple of beautiful glassware pieces that you would have to spend a fortune on if you found them anywhere else.
Camp Verde has a chill feel, much like Flagstaff. In many ways, this town is a throwback to a time before social media and technology made so many of our connections virtual. I didn’t see so many people glued to their phones. People greeted me, when I walked into the stores. I didn’t feel invisible, which was nice. Plus, since it’s north of Phoenix, the temperature wasn’t quite as hot, which was also a bonus.
Before heading back to Phoenix, we decided to stop for coffee. Nothing like a dose of caffeine before you head into rush hour traffic, right? About a 10 minute drive from the antique stores, right on Main Street, was a small “mom and pop” coffee shop called Thanks A Latte. As soon as we walked in the door, the owner of the shop welcomed us. One of the first things I noticed was their vast menu selection. In addition, to offering coffee drinks like lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos, they also had a good selection of breakfast and lunch specials as well as non-coffee beverages like chai lattes, hot chocolate, and smoothies. As usual, I ordered a latte and a gluten free brownie and a coffee cake for my mother. Of all the things we ordered, the coffee cake was the best. I don’t typically eat coffee cake, but I did try a bite before I gave it to my mother (something I would only do with my mother). The latte was good, but I couldn’t eat the gluten free brownie. When I first went gluten free, I remember experiencing baked goods that had this peculiar taste. Not being someone who cooks or bakes anything more complicated than an omelet or rice, I can’t say for sure what that taste is. The adjective that comes to mind, however, is gritty. The owner mentioned that the recipe was something that he had created. Most likely it’s an ingredient or two that is the culprit, but since the coffee cake was really good, I think there is hope for the shop’s gluten free selections.
So far this coffee shop was the most physically comfortable. The seats were plush and it was well lit without it losing its coziness. What I found particularly interesting about this coffee shop was that I read on their website that they have special events like open mic, concerts, and workshops for musicians. However, the thing that really caught my attention is that every last Monday of the month you can enjoy a cup of coffee with a cop. Why do I think this is significant? No matter what field you’re in there are going to be good people and bad people. Yet, when we have bad experiences or we hear stories on the news, we begin to draw associations. It’s part of human nature. I think it’s great that this coffee shop gives people in the community a chance to connect with each other.
Of all the coffee shops, Thanks a Latte comes the closest to what I would like to see in a coffee shop. I realize that many people go to cafes to work or to meet up with their friends. However, I really like the idea of coffee shops providing a space for people to feel a sense of community and be exposed to things, which they wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.
I give this coffee shop a 5/5. Despite the fact that the gluten free brownie wasn’t so great, everything else was exceptional. Plus, I respect what this shop is providing it’s customers and community. I hope other coffee shops will follow their lead.