Good Changes At Common Grounds

Changes are coming for a local coffee shop.

Local farm produce is being purchased for menu items, some new equipment has been purchased to better serve the public and a change of location is on the horizon for Common Grounds Coffee Company, 116 S. Main.

Two ministries of the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene are collaborating to bring area food that is produced locally to the public.

One part of the collaboration is Common Grounds, which is a ministry of the Nazarene church.

Stuffed green peppers, roasted zucchini, squash, and corn, along with tomato soup are on the menu of Common Grounds, using local produce.

Vicki Waldron tests the stuffed peppers to see if they are done.

These produce used for the menus are straight from a garden produced by AgPathway, which is another ministry of the local Nazarene Church. This ministry involves mentoring interested people in vegetable gardening.

David Goodyear, the coordinator of AgPathways, a ministry of the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene, is featured on a poster in Common Grounds Coffee Company. Healthy Bourbon County Action Team also provided a grant to AgPathways Ministry to lay the groundwork for a garden that allows people to learn how to garden.

In addition to AgPathway deliveries of local vegetables, Vicki Waldron, manager of Common Grounds, purchases food from the Fort Scott Farmers Market.

“This spring I started buying local produce from the local farmers market: potatoes for potato salad and onions,” Waldron said.

Motivating this change was the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team through a  Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant.

A poster inside Common Grounds telling of the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team grant participation.

The HBCAT grant helped Common Grounds to purchase a refrigerated appliance that helps keep food cold and easily accessible.

“All we had before was a refrigerator,” Waldron said. “We kept opening it and couldn’t keep it cool enough.”

Additionally, the grant helped purchase a blender.

“A more environmentally friendly, quieter blender,” Waldron said.

Vicki Waldron makes sandwiches using the refrigerated topper appliance purchased with a grant from the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team. She said a food processor was also purchased with this grant.

Another big change for Common Grounds: a move to a different location in the near future.

“We are looking at, tentatively, to be in the new place by the first of the year,” Waldron said.

The new space will be on Wall Street and National Avenue, the former Fort Scott Tribune office.

Jennifer LaRoche is the owner of the building and is also on the Common Grounds board at the Nazarene Church.

The site of the Common Grounds Coffee Company, the former Fort Scott Tribune office building on Wall Street.


One thought on “Good Changes At Common Grounds”

  1. I’m a former employee of Common Ground. I started when it opened, and stayed for a couple of years before going to college. I then worked at well known coffee shops in Kansas City. Let me just tell you guys: this place is different. Sincerely, I watched broken hearts be healed as they sat and had conversation in this place. I watched as people found a place to belong. I watched as people found a family.
    I have full confidence in this coffee shop, and support it each time I make it back to town.

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