Cozy, quiet, historic Carlinville...
When driving thru town, thirteen years ago, we were taken in by the unique feel of a small town rich in history. Every where we looked we saw buildings and homes that have withstood the test of time. Being a bit of a romantic, I couldn’t help but imagine the people walking around the town square or picnicking on the Court house lawn from many years gone by. Instantly, we were drawn in knowing this quaint town filled with friendly people, would be our home.
While exploring the shops available, enjoying the distinctive quality of the options, we decided we wanted to also have a place on the square. Someday, The plans began... Plans for a hub. A stopping point, a destination. A place to rest and relax. Where we hoped people would want to meet, spend time, and revisit. A refuge. After the journey thru the days events, a place to be free of it all. For even a short while.
One spot, one store front, stuck out to us as the best option for our “someday” place.
For many years, that one spot was occupied by one type of business or another. We waited. Allowing the dream to grow, dig deeper in our hearts and minds. Every time a business would leave a place on the Square, we would consider our plans. But only one was right. So we waited.
In July of 2012, our spot... the place we had been waiting for... suddenly became available. In a few short weeks, we secured the location and quickly began putting our plan into action. On September 1, we unlocked the door of our future. The place we had been pining away about for 13 years... was now ours. The work would have to be quick. So much to do... so very little time. A dead line was set and the walls and floors gutted.
During the few weeks prior to taking possession, we began working with a roaster (Backroads Coffee and Tea) to create our own unique custom blend. Just one more way to set us apart as a go to place for great coffee. After blending and sampling many different coffees, the Refuge blend emerged. Smooth, smoky, earthy with hints of dark lusciousness. Low acid and clean. Beautiful aroma... Perfect coffee.
My husband (Bobby) and I, counted down the days... chose colors, flooring, purchased reclaimed items to furnish the Coffee House. All with in keeping of the vision from 13 years prior. As time went by, details we had only hoped to be included simply came our way. Like a very talented Chef, to prepare delicious offerings to accompany the coffee. Another Chef, with a flair for confections... to die for... A top-notch baker, already well known for their fabulous creations. The vision quickly came together. All locals to the Carlinville area.
Workers put in many long hours completing the plans. Working off of simple sketches made from memory. And abstract ideas of what could be. They came to clean, paint or whatever was needed for the day. The vision caught hold in others hearts and minds. Quickly taking on a life of its own. The diverse crew of people and all the time spent helping to see this dream come to life was humbling to say the least.
In just 60 very short days, we unlocked a door to a store front in dire need of a new life. Watched dream come to life. And opened on time... Thankfully.
Offering to the public what we hope would become a starting, stopping, traveling thru kind of place. Hope you enjoy your time at the Refuge. Leave us a note on the chalk board... and come back anytime.
Special thanks to:
Eric Gibbel Construction and crew
Peggy and Dan Brown
The Cubby Hole
Colonial Wood Works
and every well wisher, volunteer, and curious person that stopped me everywhere I went.
Thank you... thank you a million times.