A black belt adventure in The Loveliest Village

A black belt adventure in The Loveliest Village
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

AUBURN, Ala. (WBRC) - The effects of the pandemic have impacted us all, and nowhere is that more noticeable than in college communities like Auburn. Now as students gradually come back to the campus, local businesses are looking forward to their return.

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

A great way to start the day is with a fresh cup from Mama Mocha’s.

“It’s just a huge passion of mine to buy green coffee and to roast it, but also to have high volume espresso with pretty latte art designs and just to kind of charm people and make their day better,” says Sarah Barnett Gill.

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

But how to keep the caffeine coming in the middle of COVID?

“My dad built these the zebra boxes and my mom painted them and we knocked out windowpanes. So, we built plague boxes essentially. I’ll take your order here. You’ll get it there and it keeps us safe, and it keeps the community safe, and we can get things quickly and still have personality, charm, and service.”

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

After being properly caffeinated move on to The Local Market. While Mama Mocha’s has made concessions to COVID, at J & M Bookstore, their concessions are to computers.

“The generation is here now that likes to do digital and download, so textbooks went away, but due to my daughter’s foresight and thought, we were able to work with her and put local artists, local makers in this area and it’s been a great addition to J & M, the old college bookstore,” says Trey Johnston III, whose family has owned the store since 1950.

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

“It is amazing the alumni that come back and go, ‘Hey, where are the books, Johnston? I didn’t see any books.’ We don’t sell books anymore, but we sell local makers, local artists and we have a great time doing it.”

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

After a stop at J &M and The Local Market, pop on over to The Auburn Popcorn Company.

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

“Yeah, we named it the Popcorn Store, but we’re more of a sweet shop,” says Will Andrews. “We do everything fresh every day. Our premium popcorns have really taken off, our chocolate drizzles and chocolate waffle cone.”

The Loveliest Village.
The Loveliest Village. (Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

So, when visitors return, Auburn Popcorn is ready. “Absolutely! And if they can’t get here, I’ll ship it to them!”

So, now, or hopefully sometime soon, you’ll be able to continue to feed your sense of adventure, and when your trail winds toward Auburn seek out some of these hidden treasures because they’re all Absolutely Alabama!

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