By JOAN COLBERT
What frequent traveler in the U.S. and internationally believes Honey Moon Coffee’s espresso is better than or equal to Italian espresso?
When I walked into Honey Moon Coffee Company in West Evansville, close to the University of Evansville, I approached the bar to order. John, the experienced server, asked if I wanted milk in my tea, and if I wanted a tea or chai latte. I told him “yes.” What I received was a transparent glass cup with a lot of milky froth on top of my hot tea. Delicious. Who says tea drinkers can’t have fun!
John was a casually dressed guy, seasoned and confident. And, he was friendly. As Zac, the half owner of the store says, he teaches his employees that “people matter. Get to know them.” He also says that he tries to create a place for people to “pause and appreciate,” their Honey Moon experience.
Just like John’s warm and crisply efficient personality, the seating areas and room décor have a certain cool and comfortable factor. They were designed by Jessica Farmer, the other half owner and Zac’s fiancé. Jessica said she wanted to create a space that was “visually pleasing and calming, with clean lines. The space needed to accommodate different age groups: college students, millennials, and baby boomers. The goal was to create community space where we could enjoy watching people come together to share life, share experiences.”
I sat in a tall stool at the bar enjoying my chai latte. Looking right and left, I saw simple, succulent plants. I paused to enjoy the atmosphere before pulling out my “to-do” list. I looked around and saw modern paintings on the wall, tall tables and chairs, short tables and chairs, and a couch inset in the front window. A little something for everyone. As it turned out, two hours passed and I was feeling peckish. I asked John for a tea and a muffin. The muffin was delicious, and obviously freshly baked that day. All the plusses were adding up for me to want to return to Honey Moon.
When you go there, you can expect to have a lovely selection of coffees as well as a thoughtful selection of tea and tea lattes. I’ve found many coffee places don’t “get” tea drinkers. They offer an English Breakfast, a green tea, and maybe Chamomile. It’s disheartening and frustrating. Often, I carry my own tea bags, with decaffeinated black and some pungent flavorful fruit. Just like Ethiopian coffee drinkers like to switch to Ethiopian decaf during the day to sleep at night, black tea drinkers like to switch to black decaf tea for the same reason. Many are not in love with the lighter, off-center teas as a norm.
Behind the Scenes
I would guess that Zac is a perfectionist. He has a lofty sense of what to market and how to incubate his staff. He strives for “excellent food and drink” at Honey Moon and regular collaboration with employees.
The menu is broad enough to satisfy most patrons. You can find many all-day special breakfast items, including a Hong Kong bubble waffle. These are made with eggs from Jake’s Happy Hens in Evansville. Also available is a Greek yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola and vegan wraps. These entrée-style dishes and various baked goods are made on the premises.
Also acquired locally are roasted coffee beans. Black Lodge Coffee Roasters is a small batch coffee roastery and coffee shop located in historic New Harmony, Indiana. Zac said that Maestro Alfred Savia of the Evansville Philharmonic has enjoyed espresso from many places and many countries, but he raves about Honey Moon’s espresso. He says it is as good or better than the espresso in Italy.
The coffee shop has changed in its offerings as it has evolved. Now Zac is experimenting with making homemade bread that can be toasted well and served with exotic spreads
Family style owner-employee communication
Semi-monthly there are all-employee staff meetings. During these pot lucks, there is a good exchange of business suggestions. The employees are affirmed and help shape the workplace. Because of this, people feel invested and tend to stay.
Meet the Owners and their Romantic Beginning
Jessica is an accountant and mother of three children.
Zac has a master’s degree in organizational psychology, and is a digital marketing consultant. He is the father of three children.
Their first kiss was under the moon. They look forward to marrying sometime this year.
Zac had been looking for space on Main Street for about a year for a coffee house. Then, in West Evansville, close to where Jessica had moved, a space that had been used for coffee shops for two decades became available. Most recently, The Coffee Cottage had occupied the space. The couple decided to take over the lease.
Facebook: Honey Moon Coffee Co.
Phone: (812) 602-3123
Hours: Daily — 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.