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I love when an activity in one area of my life results in unexpected benefits and explorations in another area.
In preparation for a Blue Zones 4 Week Challenge, that I’ll document on my Journey With Healthy Me blog, I am mapping my neighborhood. The idea behind that suggested activity is to establish places to eat, shop and enjoy nature within my own neighborhood…meaning within walking distance. With the Challenge beginning Monday, I’m using the weekend to check off some of the activities for Week One.
I love the mapping the neighborhood activity. Although I frequently walk in my neighborhood, I’m seeing it with different eyes as I look for specific places that I can visit. There’s a little fresh market nearby. And numerous fast food restaurants line Main Street, however they are not what I’m looking for. The Blue Zones Challenge encourages a plant based diet. That’s definitely not a problem for me as I already eat that way.
Rather, I spent time looking for a cute coffee shop within a mile of my home where I could grab a cup of hot herbal tea. I found it! And although it’s only three blocks away, I’ve never visited it before.
As I map out my neighborhood, I’ll share at least one other post about my “backyard explorations”. This is Exploring My Neighborhood: Zinc Coffee.
In November 2018 entrepreneurs Austin Daniel and Matt Johnson opened Zinc Coffee at 1825 S. Main Street in Joplin. Their intention, to offer superb coffees in a unique setting, led them to purchase commercial property…a former gas station…six months earlier.
Zinc Coffee offers a variety of coffees including classic brews, lattes, espressos, cappuccinos and Americanos. Plus a variety of teas are on the menu as well, along with smoothies, hot chocolate, Boylan soda, mineral water and locally made pastries and treats.
The name comes from the historical fact that Joplin began as a mining town. And while the discovery of lead established the town, zinc grew it. By 1900, Joplin was the lead and zinc capital of the world. Additionally, the mineral zinc possesses healing properties.
Zinc Coffee bears a name that acknowledges Joplin’s mining history and the owners strive to bring healing to their customers.
Visiting Zinc Coffee
On a chilly but beautiful spring morning, Greg and I walked the short three blocks to Zinc Coffee.
I appreciate that the owners didn’t change the former gas station exterior too much. I love the industrial look. There’s an outdoor seating area, for when the weather warms up a bit.
Inside, the interior is clean, bright and spacious, with two rooms offering an assortment of tables, cozy groupings of sofas and chairs and a high bar with views out the window. The original overhead doors from the gas station remain, letting in lots of natural light. There’s a barber shop on site, with a barber available during the week. And a meeting room adjacent to the seating areas for special occasions.
Greg and I ordered hot teas…green jasmine for me and plum cinnamon for Greg…and small treats. I enjoyed a blueberry scone while Greg sampled a cookie. We found a couple of comfy chairs in a corner, with a small round table between them for our cups of hot tea.
The staff is extremely helpful, polite and attentive. The young man who took our order brought out our teas after they steeped for a few minutes.
Happy to Find Zinc Coffee
We enjoyed a leisurely time sipping hot tea and looking around. Exposed beams in the ceiling, white painted brick walls, natural woods and concrete floors create an inviting space. Lots of green plants soften the industrial look. And the many windows are perfect for bringing in light and allowing views of South Main Street.
People sat with their laptops or clustered in groups of two or three for conversation. The environment is friendly, uplifting and soothing. I love it.
I’m so grateful for the activity in the Blue Zones Challenge that led me to Zinc Coffee. It’s exactly what I hoped to find in my neighborhood.
Although I’m a bit embarrassed that this lovely place existed for almost four years before I visited, I intend to remedy that. This is my new “go to” spot for a relaxing cup of hot tea or to meet a friend for conversation.
And I love that I can walk to Zinc Coffee. It’s good exercise and walking reduces my carbon footprint. I’m excited to see what else I discover, exploring my neighborhood!
Have you made such a discovery in your own neighborhood?
The Blue Zones 4 Week Challenge Book
Interested in the challenge? Pick up your book by clicking on the photo below. And watch for weekly challenge updates on Journey With Healthy Me.
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