Fair trade café has comfortable feel

Jessica Renner

Scribbles Coffee Co. has artsy environment

Scribbles Coffee Co.’s logo is stamped on the front window of the café and has one of Kent’s famous black squirrels sipping from a steaming cup of coffee.

Yet this coffee is a bit different – it’s fair trade.

Fair trade is a humanitarian initiative that fairly compensates poor farmers for products such as coffee.

Co-owner Rodney Wilson said he and his wife, Carla, always wanted to have their store be completely fair trade, but it took a little time to find a supplier that could meet their needs.

“We were aware of the impact our purchasing was doing and after we found the right supplier, we were able to go fair trade,” he said.

ÿWilson works at the café nearly every day, and he said the business has been doing well, even in the summer.

ÿBusiness may not only be steady because this is the only fair trade coffee shop in town. The artsy environment also makes customers feel at home and allows them to relax.

“It’s almost like a coffee shop you wouldn’t find downtown,” one customer whispered to her friend, smiling and looking at the scenery as they waited for their drinks.

Inside Scribbles, a Sufjan Stevens melody floats from speakers and glides into the ears of customers as their nostrils fill with the scent of fresh-brewed coffee. A cushy golden crushed velvet couch allows customers to sip a drink as they watch the happenings of Water Street.

ÿCustomers who approach the counter can admire homemade cards that are for sale next to it. After choosing a drink from one of the two large chalkboards, people can further explore the café.ÿ

The next room has high ceilings and its walls are painted a springy mint green. There are bookshelves overflowing with used goodies lining the back left corner and the back wall of the room.ÿ

Three other small tables are in this back room. Each is covered with brown paper and has a container of crayons. Customers have drawn musical notes, flowers and some sketches of impressive scale while sipping on coffee.

Wilson said the café has attracted both community members and college students and he is happy to draw a diverse crowd.ÿ

Scribbles Coffee Co.

237 N. Water St.

(330) 346-0337

Monday through Thursday:

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday: 7 a.m. to midnight

Saturday: 10 a.m. to midnight

Contact social services reporter Jessica Renner at [email protected].