My job takes me to a lot of places. And when I’m traveling around West Virginia, I’m always looking for a cozy, local coffee shop to land to send a quick email or hang out between meetings. What could be better? Reliable internet. A soft chair. New faces in a new setting. And the always reliable, hot (or iced) cup of coffee.
If I travel somewhere for a meeting, I love to go to a coffee shop first to calm my mind and prepare. And even after a long day of travel, this extrovert loves finding a local shop before heading home. It’s my way to recharge from a day on the road, get to chat with new people, explore a new place and grab a cup of joe for the road.
And while I have seen and worked from a large portion of our beautiful state, I admit that I have not been to every cool coffee shop in the state. That is a serious goal of mine, though! For example, I’ve heard a million wonderful things about TipTop in Thomas, but my feet have yet to cross its hip threshold. But of the thresholds I have entered, here are a few I keep coming back to …
I used to live in Lewisburg, so stopping in The Wild Bean always feels like seeing an old friend. I’ve found that I work better in places with a lot of natural light. And this all-window storefront in downtown Lewisburg has plenty of it.
They have a large, inviting table where I, with a giant mug of coffee in hand, can spread out and dive into my work. And when I get hungry, which I always do, they have a nice variety of wraps and salads to choose from.
Every time I’ve stopped in The Coffee Bar, I have not been disappointed. Located across the street from the Blennerhassett Hotel, the Coffee Bar’s modern aesthetic creates such a fun vibe. And their wide selection of coffee and teas always meet my needs.
They also work hard to host fun community events like trivia nights and live comedy. They were projecting a video of a live concert one of the times I was there – so cool. Oh, and the food!! I love, love, love their homemade chicken salad.
Now technically, Later Gator is a restaurant, but they’re my favorite place to go in Wheeling when I need a home base for a bit to get some work done. Located next to Center Market in Wheeling’s downtown, I love getting a table by the window or on a pretty day sitting in their beautiful back patio. They have a ton of savory and sweet crepes to choose from and the best French press around.
And everyone there is so friendly. I’ve walked into Later Gator with lots of to do lists on my mind and walked out feeling like I was leaving a home away from home. It feels like a welcoming, gathering place for the community and for a working passerby.
Mea Cuppa in Charleston
I know what you’re thinking. “Natalie, you live in Charleston. This does not count.” Just try it out, and you’ll see.
Mea Cuppa, located in the heart of Capitol Market in Charleston, is my favorite coffee shop getaway when I need a change of work scenery. I love to get a giant cup of coffee (you can’t beat it) and sit outside on Capitol Market’s long porch, looking out at the vendors selling fresh produce and the flowers hanging from stands.
When I have to do some of my hardest thinking, I go there. I love the energy of the space, the constant buzz of doors opening, people chatting, colors abounding from the farmers market. Oh, and the smell of great coffee.
Natalie Roper has been the Executive Director of Generation West Virginia since October 2014. Natalie works with local and state partners to strengthen statewide programming and infrastructure needed to attract, retain, and advance young talent in the Mountain State. She received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Virginia. A West Virginian by choice, she dreams of owning a sweet puppy dog sooner than later.