The premiere post in my series Around Bowling Green is about Spencer's, because of course. It only makes sense, anyone who knows me knows my love for coffee and when thinking of local Bowling Green, Spencer's is one of the first places that stands for community. If you missed it here is the post explaining the series and how it became a thought.
I often forget how really cool Spencer's is because I don't go downtown that often (the date nights strolling around are long over now that B is here). The atmosphere is second to none and it's so contagious. You just feel like smiling and being in a great mood in there because everyone else is! Justin & Shelley Shepherd are the owners and you can tell by their coffee business that they love community with people and have created the perfect hang out.
I love bringing my laptop and a few things to work on, grabbing a wooden table near the back (just a two seater so as to not take up empty seats!) with a latte in hand and drifting away into my zone. Even better when that latte becomes two and the table is shared with a friend. There is so much character to Spencer's that you just can't help but stare at all the really neat things, from local artist's painting to metal signs it's all hanging on their beautiful brick walls. For those of you that don't know, the location is 915 College Street and here is a link to their facebook page so you can give them a thumbs up and like them :)
Below I have an interview with Justin that you'll want to check out. But first are these gorgeous pictures taken by Kelly Lee Flora Photography. He agreed to work with me on this series so you'll for sure be able to see what I'm talking about! Take a look at his site and you'll see why I asked him!
LM - What is your business name and how long have you been open? JS - Spencer’s Coffee. The business has existed since late 2001, opened by a couple who’d moved here from San Francisco. My wife, Shelley, and I purchased the business from them in 2005.
LM - What was your life like before what you do now? JS - I was an editor at the Bowling Green Daily News; life was much more simple then — but sharing great coffee with the people of south central Kentucky is worth the extra complexity.
LM - What is the hardest part of owning your own business? JS - The most difficult part of owning a business, at least for me, is staying energized and pushing forward on a daily basis. Consumer tastes are always changing, and our understanding of coffee (and food) is constantly growing. I want Spencer’s to be a part of that movement, and to always be on the search for new and better ways to serve our customers.
LM - What is your favorite part about what you do? JS - There are so many! I love opening people’s eyes to how great coffee can taste, and I love getting to know so many people in the community through their brief but frequent visits to Spencer’s. And we also work really hard to build a family atmosphere in regards to our staff, and sharing in their lives is a joy and a privilege.
LM - Have you always been interested in coffee and local hang outs? JS - Like a lot of people, I got into coffee during my college years, mainly as a way to stay awake and seem “grown up.” My passion for coffee came a year or so after we purchased Spencer’s, as I became more and more convinced that serving great stuff was far preferable to simply serving decent stuff.
LM - If you could do any other job for a day what would it be? JS - After years of being my own boss, I’m not sure I have the constitution to work for someone else anymore! But I think being a professional billiards player would be pretty sweet.
LM - What would you tell the younger version of you now that you know what you do? JS - I’d probably tell myself to chill out. Also, I’d fill him in on all the hard lessons I learned in my first few years of running a restaurant, so that he’d have a head start and not struggle as much as I did.
LM - What is your favorite part about Bowling Green? JS - The best part of Bowling Green is its awesome people. Really! (A close second is the Taj Palace Indian restaurant off Scottsville Road — I can’t imagine a much worse fate than life without good Indian food.)
LM - Last but definitely not least, a gun is pointed at your head and you have to choose triple layer black forest cake with chocolate shavings, New York original cheesecake, or fruit? JS - Depends on the fruit — but I’d rather brew a nice carafe of coffee, share it with my aggressor and hope it improves his mood.