By Kathryn Flippin, Life Editor
Since Barefoots Joe opened in 2008, it has been viewed as a core contributor to fostering community on Union’s campus.
While its unequivocal goal is to bring a refined view of coffee to students, faculty and staff, it also strives to provide a safe haven for learning, fellowship and a true understanding of the arts.
Recently, with the pressing demands for new baristas, fresh flavor and easy, accessible coffee, Barefoots Joe has undergone a few changes.
Adjustments have been made to meet the growing needs of a small, classical coffeehouse. The call for a new cash register was the first to be addressed.
With its new cash register, Barefoots Joe now allows customers to set up personal accounts. All one needs to do is present a credit card or cash, state the amount desired to be on the account and a tab will be set up. Each time he or she returns to buy coffee, the bill will automatically be deducted from the account.
A special credit card machine has been added as well. With the assistance of a company called Square Up, a device is placed on the back of an iPod touch to scan the cards. Barefoots Joe now accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards.
“The ability we now have through technology has opened many opportunities for us,” said Joy Moore, director of Barefoots Joe. “We hope this new machine will not just bring in business but, first and foremost, benefit the accessibility of coffee for customers.”
Another change comes from the inner workings of Barefoots’ baristas. Cold brew coffee is now available. Cold brew, or concentrated iced coffee, sits in a brewer approximately 12 hours before it is served. The result is a sweeter taste because it does not extract all the acid from the grounds. Moore said it has become a widely popular coffee in shops across the country.
“The new cold brew, as well as some teas we have added, allows for new energy while also staying consistent with what Barefoots has been known for,” said Ally Mynatt, junior art major and Barefoots Joe barista. “They create a different taste but for the better of the coffee or tea. There simply is no comparison to how much better it is.”
Moore said that is Barefoots Joe’s theme: To generate quality products and events that develop a sense of culture and community.
“Union’s value of excellence is important to us,” Moore said. “We want to have the best products and the best service because that will harbor an atmosphere of change.”
Barefoots Joe also added a few more tables to accommodate space. The setup remains similar but the tables are closer.
“Barefoots provides a place for people to be themselves,” said Kathleen Hartsfield, sophomore public relations major and new Barefoots Joe barista. “My favorite aspect is that you can sit and share a table with someone you barely know and be OK with it.”
Community is what Barefoots Joe strives for, and through the desire of its leadership team, it is becoming well-known for its quality products and as a haven for cultivating conversations.
One of Barefoots’ goals is to bring an appreciation for the arts. After aspiring bands, such as the Civil Wars and Flying Colours & Forester, visited last year, along with various photo projects and film reviews, the positive reception toward the arts on campus has grown. Moore said she hopes this movement will continue this year as well.
Barefoots Joe’s first show falls on Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. following the KJV conference. A band called Seryn will be performing and Union’s own TJ Hester, senior philosophy major, will be featured as the opening act.