As college students, there is one liquid that makes us run, makes us feel good, makes us function as college students were meant to.
I’m talking about coffee, what did you think I meant?
While it may be easier and more convenient, large coffee businesses like Starbucks or Caribou lack the soul of what a coffee shop can and should be.
A coffee shop is a place where you can study, go on a first date, catch up with old friends, all while enjoying the gentle noises of other patrons sipping their own liquid energy.
Here in Mankato, there are a few quintessential coffee shops that really embody their own personalities.
One of these shops is Fillin’ Station, a coffee shop located downtown off of South Front Street. Located right across the street from a quaint bookshop and comic shop, the Fillin’ Station serves some of the best coffee in town, while keeping you within walking distance of other small businesses to explore.
Another coffee shop staple in Mankato, is obviously the Coffee Hag, which is located off of Riverfront Drive. This shop is famous for its strong social stances, often showcasing empowering artwork on the walls.
Yes, the big coffee places can offer these services, but the consumer has to consider what their support of the business means.
To the large corporate run java joints, purchasing your favorite Caramel Macchiato will have barely any effect on the bottom line, as thousands, if not millions of people are buying the same drink within that same day.
In comparison, when you choose to consistently support a small business, the effect is actually felt by the business owners, and subsequently the workers. To these coffee shops, the value of you as a customer is far greater than for a giant chain.
This is extremely important to these small businesses, especially now, as we are living through a pandemic. The giant corporations really have nothing to lose should they face slowed sales other than some stock points.
If small coffee shops face the same reduction of sales, it can often mean layoffs, or even closure of the business. It is of utmost importance that we, the consumer, must choose to support those businesses that actually have something to lose.
The importance of being a conscious consumer has often lost out to convenience, but we as the young generation, get to choose to change that. So next time you want to swing by the drive through coffee shop, think about the positive benefits of choosing a local option.
Header photo: The Fillin’ Station is a popular coffee destination in Downtown Mankato. (Muhammad Ibrahim/The Reporter)