Ellé Bell Café
After being rained in~ in SC for literally weeks~ I was itchin' to get out. I was so excited for today's grand adventure... I just couldn't wait to see the blue sky open up into the wide expanse of gorgeous and wild South Carolina scenery. It had been a while since I had seen and been in the sun outside of my house and the nursing home! Today's experience was well worth the wait:)
We made the trip to Simpsonville, SC to check out a coffee shop that was created by a couple from Florida with a passion for orphaned children. In their kick start campaign, the owners, Michael & Roxanne Bacaro describe their business as a coffee bar & gluten free bake shop inspired by the heart of God to advocate and care for orphans. That's love, in the name of coffee so I had to check it out:)
We headed out and took in all the sights on the back roads on our way out to the Exchange Co., chatting merrily and listening to Beats Antique on Pandora.
The Exchange Co. was a jumpin', happenin' hot spot. The couches and tables were spoken for, but Phil and I spied this darling little center island spot for two with bar stools as a cozy touch. The fall colors matched the patrons enthusiasm, it was evident everyone was excited for fall. Coffee house customers greeted each other as though they've been friends forever. Natural and weathered pine planking on the walls mixed with industrial accidents and open brick make this coffeehouse a genuinely relaxing place to sit and enjoy anyone's favorite coffee beverage.
It was a cool, fall weekend morning, in October. Mother Nature has painted the scenery to match my mood. I am in the mood for fall things. Warm drinks, oven roasted pumpkin seeds, wool socks, hoodies, footie pajamas and the occasional mittens. Yes, I love fall, and I am ready!
The sparkling clean atmosphere mixed with the staff's bubbly personalities made for an enjoyably vibrant environment.
Any weary, coffee-loving soul desiring rejuvenation could definitely find sanctuary here. Feeling like love and in the fall spirit I opted for my first Chai Latte of the season. Spicy and robust, it did not disappoint! Phil and I decided to come back for a second visit to get another glimpse of the many different faces of Exchange Co.'s charming atmosphere.
Hot and steamy coffee love was on my mind that morning. Sipping hot, fresh coffee, I put my favorite YouTube version of "Feelin' Love" by Paula Cole on a loop while getting ready to go. Softening up by using my homemade coffee scented lotion and lip balm, the smell of fall mixed with coffee love was definitely in the air.
Winding country roads opened up to the hustle and bustle of the city, peppered with families walking along the sidewalks, and football fans busily scurrying about boasting their team colors along with the usual weekend rush. Nearing the Exchange Co., we noticed a large pumpkin patch full of all different kinds and sizes of pumpkins. Parents tried to contain the excitement in the little ones as they ran and climbed over and under eager to point out the next perfect pumpkin for this years jack-o'-lanterns. Dads with kids in backpacks walked beside moms pulling wagons and everybody seemed to be making happy family memories. Fall was definitely in the air, from displays of brightly colored fall mums and smiling pansy-face adorned pots perched politely on bales of hay to watch the changing leaves on all the trees - it was truly a beautiful day!
The Exchange Co. was quiet this visit, with lots of space on the back couch just for Phil and I to kick back and relax with our caramel mocha lattes, and wonderful, hand-poured (right in front of us) crepes. Mine were generously slathered with hazelnut Nutella, and perfectly lined with warm banana slices, all wrapped in a gluten-free hug known as a crepe. Phil had a meaty, savory crepe, which disappeared about as quickly as mine did. I didn't really think we were that hungry, but who could help it with food this good?
The staff were super friendly, especially the young man who made my luscious drink. Initially upon delivering my beverage he commented on how he would be happy to remake my coffee drink if I wanted him to but he felt compelled to confess that he accidentally poured an extra shot of espresso in my drink. Rather than assume, he asked if it was okay? Quite frankly I wanted to hug him! Honestly, could a more glorious mistake have been made? And delicious... Mmmmm
After drinks and crepes, we walked around the neighborhood, checking out the fall colors. I was able to take photos of old southern porches fully decorated for fall, cars from days long gone by, and we also walked through our favorite type of store~ a vintage/antique store full of visually captivating oddities from yesteryear.
Overall it was an excellent afternoon with lots of friendly, smiling people. The Exchange Co. coffeehouse was definitely a place that I was feeling coffee love, from Cole, my serendipitous Barista- to the warm banana crepe that filled my belly with gluten-free goodness, the Exchange Co. is one place that definitely embodies real coffeehouse love, and is passing it on!