On a corner of the town square in Pella, Iowa, Smokey Row coffeehouse. Here you’ll find “good coffee and good people,” just as the store’s motto suggests. A great place to study, read, or simply catch up with an old friend, the Row is a popular gathering place for “Pellicans.”
As a weekend barista, I have the inside scoop (yes, we serve ice cream), and if you ask sweetly, I’ll share some fun facts about this perk center.
- Before the aroma of espresso, and the constant squeal of the steamer, Smokey Row served Pella as the Ideal Pharmacy back in the mid-late 1900s. Not only is the place a great coffee corner, but it has an interesting historical background.
- Holidays at Smokey Row come with perks, as well as festive decorations! Most years the “family” of employees gather for a Thanksgiving celebration. At Christmas, stockings with all our names line the walls, painting the store a festive red! Santa also drops off a brand new staff T-shirt for each barista!
- It can be standing room only during the Tulip Time Festival, but workers still manage to work quicker than bullets. (It’s because we’re ninjas…. Shhh don’t tell anyone!) All of the craziness is worth it. Especially because employees receive another free t-shirt. 😉
- While tossing up a salad, or putting scones in the oven, some employees can be found singing at the top of their lungs, not a care or inhibition in the world!
- Employee initiation includes drinking a straight shot of espresso, which may taste bitter in the moment, but helps when the customer lines grow!
- It REALLY hurts to pour a chai down the front of your shirt. Take my word for it!
- When closing comes, there’s sometimes a bad aura over being the last employee in the store. Between the infamous ghost who lives in the vintage safe at the back, and the super spooky basement with rumor of a secret tunnel, some have decided it’s safer to scurry on out as soon as can be. Let the brave live on; let the weak leave early!
Being an employee at Smokey Row has proved to be a wonderful opportunity. New friends, new memories, and about a trillion tons of coffee have made for a great year of work! I’ve developed a new appreciation for the atmosphere, and my hope is that the next time you stop in, you’ll feel the same love for the place that I do!
Guest Blogger: Sarah Posthuma
I am a junior at Pella Christian High School, and for the first two weeks in January I will be interning with Kathleen Evenhouse through the school’s Winterim program. Winterim internships provide students with the opportunity to explore different career fields. I am interested in a career in either writing, or psychology. Because of Kathie’s extensive experience in writing and marketing, I am confident that I will be able to reap much knowledge from her. This experience will hopefully give me a deeper insight into what God wants for my future.
These blogs posted through my internship will be from the setting of a coffee shop in Pella and are for the purpose of developing my creative skills.