Home to several craft conscious and character filled businesses, Maplewood is the perfect spot for a Saturday away. A ten minute drive from campus delivers students to mouth-watering wonders with an instinct for the inclusive. From the Living Room cafe and it’s colorful “All are welcome” sign to Foundation Grounds with its locally roasted coffee “Roasted with Love, Served with Gratitude,” there are so many unique places to grab a coffee, a snack, and a chat with friends.
Lunch and dinner always require a trip to Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions, the local butcher, for a sandwich and their recommendation on a good cut to cook for dinner. This is my favorite stop. I enjoy getting a chance to talk to the knowledgeable staff of the nose-to-tail butcher shop with a pasture raised promise. Always friendly and willing to share information, I never leave the store without a fantastic dinner to prepare. Tasty tacos, warming winter stew, and yummy breakfast sandwiches have all been products of these shopping trips.
Maplewood is the perfect area to fill a sweet tooth. Boardwalk Waffles and Ice Cream offers cold ice cream sandwiches cradled in the warm embrace of fluffy and subtly sweet baked waffle batter. Add delicious topping of caramel or chocolate sauces, nuts, candies, or joyful sprinkles. It makes every Sunday perfect for these unique sundays. If ice cream and waffles aren’t your thing, Pie Oh My, Strange Donuts, and Ka-Kao are also in walking distance and offer their own variety of delectable sweets.
Every storefront is unique but they all seem to be a link in a chain of the local-community-oriented mentality. The ACE hardware store sells fresh local eggs. The wine store sells a delicious local honey. The soap and candle store, Maven, uses chocolate, beer, coffee, and beef tallow from their neighbors Ka-Kao, Schlafly, Kaldi’s and Bolyard’s to produce lines of their body butters. Each trip to Maplewood feels like discovering new pieces to a delightful puzzle each time I stumble upon another link in the chain of inclusivity. And if no new discoveries are made, at least I got a good coffee and conversation with a friend out of the trip.