My visit to Uncommon Grounds Coffee Roasters took a surprising turn


When I googled Uncommon Coffee Roasters, I thought it would be safe to assume that this coffee shop would be not different than others I’d been to before, and from the pictures that popped up about it, I appeared to be right. Even so, I could not have been more wrong, in the best way possible.

The pictures, although somewhat deceiving, essentially depicted a cafe with a relaxing, low-lighting atmosphere, complete with antique-looking furnishings and decorations. Yes, those pictures were correct, but excluded from the description was the fact that the coffee shop is part of a furniture store off East Paris Ave. Slightly deterred but overall very intrigued by the confusing location and set-up, I approached the entrance. As I opened the door and peered inside, I found an open-concept space complete with furniture of varying sizes and, in the area by the front window, a small coffee shop.

Greeted by warm smiles and inviting seating, I gave the area closer look. Couches upon couches, beds upon beds, home decor upon home decor, the room was filled. Although confused, I began connecting the dots, finally realizing that while the building did host Uncommon Grounds, the spotlight was not actually intended for them. Talsma, a furniture store whose items were so elegantly being displayed and up for sale in the cafe area, was the main event of the building, using the lure of caffeine and tasty drinks to reel in customers. I have to admit I was incredibly intrigued, and their ploy for more customers and more money successfully brought me in.

Surprisingly, the furniture side containing a high concentration of items was not off-putting to the general atmosphere, and it somehow added a certain elegance and charm making the room come alive.

On the chalkboard behind the counter was a plethora of drinks of incredible variety, ensuring there was something for everyone. The menu ranged from different house-made juices and smoothies, to coffee drinks, to hot chocolates, to muffins and different bars. My only disappointment by the end of my visit was the fact that I didn’t have sufficient time or money to sample every item on the menu.

In an attempt to transcend my usual cafe order of a hot chai latte, I narrowed down my decision to the juices and smoothies, finally fixing on the funky blueberry and pineapple smoothie. Even though the weather has been cooling down exponentially, the chilled drink was perfectly and surprisingly fitting. Elevating the typical smoothie, the pineapple part of the smoothie accented the thick taste of blueberry with a sharper sweetness, an aspect that freshened the drink. As a blueberry smoothie connoisseur, I was reasonably impressed with the overall taste; it wasn’t too grainy despite the large quantities of blueberry in it nor too watery from the icey crunch it had. Although I do love Tropical Smoothie Cafe drinks, there’s a sort of artificial and overpowering sweetness to them that I did not find with the smoothie from Uncommon Grounds. Additionally, the prices were much cheaper than most other non-chain coffee shops, generally pricing drinks at less than $4.

With affordable prices and a great furniture selection, it was ideal for both on-the-go drinks but also for relaxing in an ever-changing, comfortable setting. A strange but charming cafe, Uncommon Grounds sufficiently exceeded all that I could’ve imagined from a coffee shop based in a furniture store.