GloryBeans Coffee House
By Joanna Grey Talbot
No matter where I go I sniff out the local coffee shop and a small mocha with skim milk is always my drink of choice. For an extroverted introvert like myself it is hard to find a coffee shop where I feel completely at home. Yet, I found it at GloryBeans Coffee House in downtown Albemarle, North Carolina. Most of the tables are repurposed kitchen tables, which makes it feel even more like home.
Opened in 2009 by Connie Goins it quickly became a community institution not just because of its central location, excellent coffee, eclectic and inviting setting, and free WiFi but mainly because of the atmosphere that she has cultivated. If you sit for longer than five minutes and watch Connie at work behind the counter, you will see what I mean. She doesn’t know a stranger. Not a single one. She knows everyone’s name that walks in the door and if she doesn’t she will by the time they leave. It goes well past names, though. She asks them about specific things going on in their lives and as she bustles around making their drink they carry on a conversation like any two friends would.
“We feel called to be a ministry. The coffee shop is just a bonus. We are here to love people and to help them be free,” Connie tells me in between helping customers. One of the many facets of their ministry is helping the local homeless population. The local shelter is only a few blocks away so each morning the residents come over for a free cup of coffee and a place to hang out until the library opens up. Connie has gone above and beyond many times, though, going so far as to drive some of them to where they need to go, sometimes even as far as Danville, Virginia. Commenting to her what a wonderful thing that is, she quickly deflects the praise and says, “That’s why I am here. To love people.”
That right there is why I hope GloryBeans is here for many years to come. It isn’t just a business; it is a retreat. Within the next month or two they will be expanding to include a small restaurant that will provide soups and sandwiches to the lunch crowd. In regards to their small mocha I give it a strong four out of five coffee beans – so yummy!
Do yourself a favor and come get a coffee or a baked good. You can wander and check out the beer and wine for sale, the locally made jewelry and soaps, and the antiques while you wait for your drink. As soon as you hear Connie call you, “Sunshine,” you are in. Come be a part of the GloryBeans family.
134 W. Main Street, Albemarle, NC 28001
M-F 7am-6pm, Saturday 8am-4pm, Closed Sunday