The Fresh Ground Coffee House has become a staple hangout spot for many in the Upper Moreland area. The coffee house, which is located in and run by the Willow Grove Bible Church, is more like an event than a retail space, as it takes place only once a month; and its admission and refreshments are completely free of charge.
The Nov. 18 Fresh Ground Coffee House featured local artist and retired Upper Moreland Middle School science teacher Barbara Rosenzweig, and the jazz performance by Fresh Ground fan favorite Clear Approach.
According to Fresh Ground “staff,” who are made up of volunteers from the Willow Grove Bible Church, the coffee house has become a popular destination, attracting residents of all backgrounds and ages.
Michael Garbott and his young son Luke, who live around the corner from the church, enjoy taking in the music and especially playing the various board games available.
“It’s nice,” Michael Garbott said. “He’s been here a couple of times and it’s nice, he usually goes around playing the games.”
Anastasia Janney, an Upper Moreland High school sophomore, also enjoys the social opportunities of the coffee house.
“There’s a lot of my friends that came here, and I didn’t even know that they came here,” Anastasia said, adding that having a coffee house her friends can go to makes for a nice change not only for Upper Moreland youth, but for anyone looking for a positive environment to relax. “It’s just so welcoming and so much fun.”
According to Willow Grove Bible Church pastor Ken Barkley, the church’s Fresh Ground Coffee House committee, led by the ministry’s director Kim Ruby, said that it costs the church about $200 a month to hold the event. The church volunteers take care of everything, from the homemade baked goods to purchasing the Bucks County Coffee that are served at the coffee house – of which all are free-of-charge.
At its heart, the Fresh Ground Coffee house is a church ministry; In fact, a contemporary worship service takes place in the basement, the Sunday after a Fresh Grounds Coffee House event – complete with refreshments from the coffee house.
However, Barkley said that the major periphery goal is to provide a family-friendly atmosphere for the community to get to know one another better.
“This has taken off, and is soaring. They appreciate what we’re doing for the community,” Barkley said, adding with a laugh, “And, hey, it’s a cheap date, too.”
With nearly each and every Fresh Ground Coffee House event attracting patrons to near capacity, the volunteers also have a big clean up job to do.
“We hope that there will be enough people left at the end to help with cleanup,” Burt Plaster, Fresh Ground Coffee House volunteer said of the midnight closing time.
However, he said that he and fellow volunteer/Willow Grove Bible Church congregants enjoy the community outreach. “I think it’s a great way to meet the community. People from the neighborhood keep coming back and new ones all the time,” Plaster said. “I think it’s a comfortable place, and I think it’s a great way to know people we wouldn’t otherwise get to know.