Monday, April 8, 2013

Fair Trade Coffee Break: Civilization

Civilization Coffee Shop in Tremont

For me coffee isn't just about the cup of the warm drink in my hands it is also about the experience.  The smell, the mug, the coffee shop that I am sitting in, to me it all matters. So it only seems to make sense to me to share with all of you different coffee shops that sell fair trade coffee and or teas and that I feel at home at.  Now since I write for Fair Trade San Diego's blog the coffee shops will generally be in the San Diego County area but since I was back where I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio this week visiting family and friends I couldn't help but share one of my favorite coffee shops in the area that sells fair trade.

Fair Trade Coffee at Civilization

Civilization is in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.  Tremont is an old neighborhood that has been revitalized in the last ten years or so.  It was settled by immigrants at the beginning of the last century.  Some of those immigrants were Polish and of the Polish families that lived there my paternal grandmother's family was one. As a little girl she played in the streets and parks of the neighborhood and her brother owned a bar later in the life in the same neighborhood but the best part of the story is her connection to Civilization.  

The coffee shop was once a pharmacy, the sign still resides at the top of the building, and I like to think about my grandmother as a little girl going to that pharmacy with her parents.  She was probably adorable, adorable like little girls are when dressed in dresses, gloves and hats, something they did when she was a child. And she probably asked for candy when they visited to pick up medication.  Perhaps her father would buy some for her and her siblings, perhaps not.  As it turns out I don't know a great deal about my grandmother's childhood, for years she didn't share much about it because it wasn't as charmed as I thought it might have been.  She didn't share memories of Tremont with me until just a few years before her death when I was living in the same neighborhood in my mid-20s.  

Grandma Stary on the right with Grandpa Stary and one of my uncles and his wife
Regardless of what my grandmother's story was and I probably will never know too much about it prior to her marriage to my grandfather, I truly enjoy stepping into Civilization and feeling a connection to a part of her life that I know so little about.  The dark wood, the fair trade and the memories make the place so special to me! 

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