My senior year of high school, before coming to Jackson and attending Union, my dad and I would go to a coffee shop in my hometown about once a week and have breakfast and a cup of joe together before work and school. I had been a barista at a coffee shop for a few months, and my dad and I were quickly being drawn into “coffee culture,” trying new brews each visit and pairing them with complimentary baked items. It became a ritual for us the summer before I left for college, and we both learned to appreciate the bonding that can come with a quality coffee experience.
If you’ve lived in Jackson for more than three years, chances are you remember the Starbucks boom, the closing of Alba downtown and the legend of Green Frog Coffee Co., both of which no freshman would get to experience for themselves, bringing a sudden lack of local and family owned places to study, work or enjoy a casual conversation with friends and family.
Well, Jackson family, no longer! Located next to West Jackson Baptist Church on Union University Drive, Green Frog Coffee Co. has reopened their doors, better than ever, and no longer a mysterious legend to our freshmen friends.
Although “Coffee Co.” is in the name, Green Frog offers quite possibly the largest menu of any restaurant in the Jackson area. My first visit, I might have stared at the menu for fifteen minutes due to the endless options before me. Specialty coffee drinks, baked items, cheesecake, ice cream, snow cones, homemade lunch and dinner plates, sandwiches, breakfast items and the list goes on. The café also offers plenty of seating for meetings or meals as a family, as well as WiFi for all of your studying needs.
Aside from the local support that comes with visiting Green Frog, it also provides a very different experience from Starbucks. Starbucks’ and Green Frog’s coffee and food selections taste very different from each other. Starbucks’s espresso tastes much stronger to me, while Green Frog is much smoother, and their lunch and dinner options are very unique, as Green Frog offers meals such as lasagna, chicken salad and fettuccine alfredo while Starbucks’ menu is mostly sandwiches. Starbucks and Green Frog don’t disqualify each other; the two simply offer unique experiences based on your preferences on a given day.
The main negative to visiting Green Frog Coffee Co. is slow service at certain times of the day, especially in the rush hours of breakfast and lunch. I rarely go to Green Frog when I’m on a tight schedule or need to get in and out in just a few minutes. I think this is an issue that the coffee shop will overcome fairly quickly once they get into a rhythm of operation, but since almost their entire employee staff is brand new, that rhythm hasn’t quite fallen into place.
Thankfully though, the business is not sacrificing quality or customer service. Every visit brings familiar and friendly faces, great coffee and food, and an all-around enjoyable experience.
My dad has come to visit me in Jackson a few times this semester, and he insists every morning on going to Green Frog, asking me as we browse the menu what kind of coffee and food pairings we should try that day. I reminisced on the ritual we had years ago, how coffee brought us closer as father and daughter before I left home, and how that didn’t have to change with my new life five hours away. Nothing is different. We just have a new coffee shop to enjoy: Green Frog Coffee Co.