By Danica Smithwick
For several years, Barefoots Joe has been a campus hotspot for students to fellowship, study, communicate and enjoy refreshments. It all started shortly after the Feb. 5, 2008, tornado.
Kimberly Thornbury, vice president for student services and dean of students, wanted students to have a gathering place to reconnect after such an upsetting incident.
A group of students proposed that a coffeehouse take the place of a room that originally held only ping-pong and pool tables.
Students, parents and other members of the community united to make the project come together in two weeks. The coffee bar was minimal, serving only coffee and tea.
Since then, Barefoots Joe has established its own roastery, refined its espresso and adjusted the layout of the shop.
A new brewer was purchased for the consistent production of a cleaner and more flavorful cup of coffee.
Because the best coffee is produced near the equator, most of Barefoots Joe’s java is imported from Latin America, East Africa and Indonesia.
Espresso is blended in-house. Each day, a special treat made in Jackson is served. Starting this semester, cinnamon rolls were served on Mondays.
“We’re confident that those who visit will notice the attention and care we give to our drinks and our customers,” said Joy Moore, director of Barefoots Joe.
According to its mission statement, “Barefoots Joe exists to serve Union University and the broader community by providing a classical coffeehouse that acts as a place for conversation, exchange of ideas and appreciation of the arts. Further, we strive to provide excellent products and service, upholding such values as the worth of the individual, care of the earth and good stewardship.”
Moore said plans for manual brewing options and more in-house ceramic mugs are in process.
This semester’s concert series will also bring many talented musicians to the stage. In the meantime, students are encouraged to follow @BarefootsJoe on Twitter or add Barefoots Joe on Facebook to stay up to date on specials and upcoming events.