Source: Sherman Publications

My Way
Would you like a side of history with your coffee?

by CJ Carnacchio

December 29, 2010

I was hoisting a few holiday cocktails at my home with a couple of downtown Oxford merchants when they proposed an idea that I found most intriguing.

They suggested that coffee and other related beverages could be sold and enjoyed on a regular basis at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum.

They reasoned that doing so would solve two problems at once.

The first is the lack of a coffee shop in downtown Oxford.

Ever since Starbucks closed back in August, local java fiends and self-important people who enjoy working on their laptops in public have been jonesing for a place to get their fix.

Lots of folks miss having a coffee house at which to gather and would jump at the opportunity to once again sip their brew in the downtown atmosphere.

The coffee and beverages could be provided by a variety of local merchants such as Victoriaís Delights and A Familiar Taste. Maybe Sweet & Savory (my favorite bakery in the world) could sell some of their tasty treats there.

Besides filling a need, serving coffee there would also help expose people to our townís woefully under-utilized museum, making them aware of both it and local history.

I love the museum and I try to promote it every chance I get, but itís definitely not living up to its potential.

At best, itís only open a few hours a week for one or two days, depending on the season. Thatís due to a lack of volunteers, not a lack of dedication on the Historical Societyís part.

Maybe the village, DDA and Historical Society could work together to fund a few part-time employees to serve up the coffee and keep an eye on the museum. Iím just spit-balling here.

The lure of beverages would definitely draw more people to the museum and generate a buzz about it throughout the community.

Frankly, I would be more inclined to sit and sip a Cup of Joe in an historic building surrounded by local artifacts than some generic corporate shell that looks the same in a thousand other cities.

Anyway, I liked the idea, so I thought Iíd throw it out there in a column and see what happens.

What do you think, Oxford?