A place where everyone knows your name

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking for a place to get away – “where everyone knows your name” – you needn’t look further than Big Mountain Coffee where your own personalized coffee cup can be on the shelf and waiting for you.

Come in and cozy up with a warm cuppa joe and enjoy the casual ambiance of old brick and plaster walls and assorted furniture that looks like it might have once belonged to your Auntie Mabel.

On a recent Wednesday morning, the place was buzzing with conversation and riffs of laughter. A group from Team Nimbus Alabama was gathered in back for their twice-monthly meeting. A couple of young men were bent over their computers, looking like they were settling in for the day and five local regulars were yakking together having filled their personal mugs which are stored and labeled on a nearby shelf.

One might make certain assumptions about the mug-owners’ personalities based on their representative themes. There’s the “Bad Day/Good Day” two-sided mug belonging to Matt; Todd’s “Dedication of the Wm. J. Clinton Presidential Center” mug, a souvenir mug from Niagara Falls and the “Tie One On” fisherman Mike’s cup. Miss Bossy Pants sports a mug espousing the wonder of all things Venetian that, given its size, might actually hold the contents of the Grand Canal, and Ally and Ara have highly original mugs that look as if they were created in pottery 101.

Chris Emery, pastor of Elevation Church, purchased BMC in 2006 after living all over the country serving as a youth minister in the Wesleyan denomination. On Sundays, Elevation Church holds an 11 a.m. service, but you will never be pressured to join while stopping by for your breakfast Danish and caffeine fix during the week.

“Good Things Happen Over Coffee” a retro-style sign proclaims and this seems to capture the essence of what Emery seeks to offer. Emery has also spearheaded an effort to reclaim the currently unusable damp and rocky parking area adjacent to this row of buildings. An architect and landscape designer have drawn up plans for an outdoor area featuring tables and umbrellas which will hopefully be implemented come warmer weather. What was originally thought to be a water leak has been found to be a natural underground spring that will have to be factored into the plan before work can progress.

BMC has recently added an All-You-Can Eat Pancake Breakfast on Saturday mornings between 9-11 am. Just come by, with or without your mug, and experience a small slice of Helena hospitality.