Orange City is home to many different local shops that provide a unique, and often Dutch, atmosphere to town. Out of all the places, though, college students are usually most aware of ones that serve coffee to fuel late night studying.
There are currently two coffee shops that bless Orange City through their service – Town Square Coffeehouse and Brad’s Breads and Bakery, both of which offer their own unique environments and products.
Previously known as the Old Factory Coffee Shop, Town Square Coffeehouse was renamed and relocated soon after Steve Mahr purchased the shop in 2014. However, its coffee has been a part of the community for 10 years. Their menu includes everything from waffles and breakfast poutine to Greek wraps and pulled pork sandwiches.
The shop caters toward coffee lovers and non-coffee lovers, as well as people wanting a nice atmosphere to grab some breakfast or lunch with a friend.
“The best food on the menu, hands down, is a breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel,” said junior Alexis (Lexi) Van Surksum, an employee at Town Square. “The best drink, in my opinion, is an iced Café Miel.”
That’s a double shot of espresso with steamed milk, honey, vanilla and a dash of cinnamon.
Their freshly roasted coffee is produced by the Duluth Coffee Company. They brew it manually through the Hario v60 brew method, providing a fresh, aromatic coffee for their customers, as well as Chemex and French Press methods. Town Square also keeps a local mindset as they try to buy all their ingredients from local farmers and the community.
College students love the modern-day coffee house environment that Town Square offers with its dark blue walls, wood accents and coffee-making sounds. Not only do they provide a laid-back environment, but their mission involves service, respect, hospitality and community.
“We aim to be a safe and loving place that welcomes all, regardless of any factors that may keep people from feeling like they belong in other places,” Van Surksum said. “You come for the great coffee – you stay because you have a place where you are loved and belong.”
The shop not only caters different events but also hosts different community events, like bridal showers, poetry slams, graduation parties, music gigs and art exhibitions.
Just a few blocks south of Town Square is another local shop, Brad’s Breads and Bakery.
Brad’s menu includes coffees, cold drinks, breads, pastries, scones, cookies, macarons, sandwiches, soups and salads. In addition to their traditional menu, they make and decorate cakes for special orders.
Senior Schuyler Sterk personally received a birthday cake from Brad’s Breads.
“It was gorgeous and peach flavored,” Sterk said. “It had fresh fruit on it, and I could taste the oranges and blackberries. Plus, the flowers on it were beautiful, and they added a bit of mint as a garnish. It was basically a two-layer cookie with creamy frosting in the middle and on top. Honestly, it was beautiful.”
College students also enjoy its quiet, peaceful atmosphere. With its white walls and many windows, the shop offers a bright environment for its customers.
“The environment is light, airy and very conducive to heart-to-heart conversation,” said senior Abigail Moody. “Their coffee is great, and the pastries are amazing, but I love the atmosphere the most. The windows let in a lot of warmth and light, and it just feels like the perfect place for a cup of coffee and catching up with a friend.”
Brad’s Breads began in 2015, but their shop officially opened last December in Orange City. Their mission of sharing quality, handmade bread as a bridge that brings people together started over 40 years ago in California. The owner’s Uncle Bill created the original recipe that would be passed down over generations and become the shop’s trademark.
However, when Uncle Bill first baked breads, he never sold them but gave them away to his neighbors and those in need. Brad’s Breads continues this tradition by often giving loaves to newcomers and those in need. They even offer the option for delivery to customers’ homes.
The shop also hosts events, like the upcoming Sister’s Afternoon Tea on Nov. 14, and they regularly are found at the Orange City Farmer’s Market throughout the summer.
The current pandemic had a significant impact on small businesses, including both Town Square and Brad’s. They were forced to only offer to-go orders and curbside pickup in order to safely provide coffee and food for their customers. Both shops are now open for dine-in but require masks for all customers.
Current hours for Town Square Coffeehouse are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Current hours for Brad’s Breads and Bakery are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.