Located in Cedar Falls’ thriving downtown Main Street is Cup of Joe. Eccentric and proud of it, this eco-friendly coffeeshop is lined with repurposed 50’s style tables, sofas, and chairs. A green-certification award displayed on a shelf above the brews means that Cup of Joe has taken numerous steps to reduce waste including its use of colorful, mis-matched Fiestaware. Socially conscious customers have fair trade options to select including flavored teas from Republic of Tea.
The staff is as perky as their strongest brew and quick to remember customer names and their regular drinks and treats. Upon my first visit, employee Sarah took the time to introduce herself, ask my name and make me feel welcomed into Cup of Joe. My next visit, and hundreds of customers later, Sarah greeted me by first name and asked if I wanted another double soy latte with sugar-free vanilla. After punching my card where I can prepay 7 drinks and get an 8th free (large soy with flavor ~$5), she hand delivered my coffee over to the table I had made camp at. No matter what time of day or night I visit Cup of Joe, the excellent customer service is consistent. And not only is the customer service exceptional, but they are some of the hardest working baristas I have ever seen, constantly cleaning and restocking.
The retro style décor pairs well with ever-changing art for sale featuring local artists. Local musicians showcase their talent with live jazz every Thursday and varied artists on Friday and Saturday nights. Eclectic customers range from the young artist searching for inspiration to the weekday retiree reading the Waterloo Courier. Nearly half of the clientele on any given day or time is devoted regulars and the other half are those just discovering or passing through downtown Cedar Falls.
The staff is friendly, the culture is open-minded, and the owner is socially responsible with visible business practices that reflect those values. Product choices suit the customer wishing for a simple basic brew to more diverse needs such as organic, vegan, low fat, or Coke in a glass bottle special requests. My favorite go-to-drinks include: delicious sugar-free vanilla double-soy latte, sugar-free vanilla-raspberry Italian soda, and hot apple cider. You really can't go wrong with any of the sweet treats but my ultimate favorite is their no-bake cookie. The clinking of spoons scraping saucers to get every last morsel of baked-good attest to the deliciousness of bakery goods sourced from an independent local baker. I choose to keep coming back to Cup of Joe because, to me, it is the embodiment of happiness in the Cedar Valley.