by Stephen Dafoe
Less than a month after announcing they would pull down the shop shades for the final time in mid-February, a local non-profit coffee shop has announced the lattes and cappuccinos will continue to pour at Higher Grounds on 100 Avenue.
Opened in February of 2011, the coffee shop set out to be more than a place to get a cup of coffee. It was to be a welcoming place where the community could gather. But an aging volunteer base who have put in a lot of hours over the past seven years lead to the decision to close the coffee shop and the non-profit society that runs it.
However, a Morinville businessman came forward last week with a desire to take over the non-profit organization that runs the shop and keep the business open. Just who that businessman is, however, remains a bit of a mystery. Higher Grounds Manager Crystal Terhorst said the local business owner wants to remain anonymous for now.
Terhorst said she and the others are excited by the news that something they have put so much into will continue after the passing of the community coffee shop torch.
“This is the best-case scenario that I couldn’t even dream of,” Terhorst said. “He’s making it possible for Higher Grounds to continue to operate. It’s going to be seamless. It’s not going to close down. It’s going to remain open.”
Terhorst said Higher Grounds Community Support Society would hold a board election to bring in the new management team, and that the new volunteers will mix with some of the current crew as the transition takes place.
“Some of the old faces will be here from time to time, but we’re going to be phasing in new workers,” Terhorst said. “They’re going to be taking over the whole society. It’ll be a new board of directors.”
Although the name and the mission of being a community gathering place that gives back to the community will remain the same, Terhorst said the new board would undoubtedly bring their particular flavour shots to running the coffee shop.
But as one group moves on after years of volunteer service, they will be hosting three events in February during the transition to bring their chapter to a close.
A mini concert with performers Esther LeBel and Andrea Michaud will take place Feb. 3. A Charity Crib Tournament takes place Feb. 10, and a final Hot Dogma talent night is set for Feb. 17. All events will start at 7 p.m.
Terhorst is hoping for a good turnout for the farewell events.
“It may be your last chance to get your name on the crib tournament plaque,” she said, noting she’s also seeing a lot of the performers who have done the talent nights over the years to come out for the final show.
For details on participating in the events, visit the coffee shop Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.