Local Business – Union Coffee House

Union Coffee House downtown Buchanan, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Roasted Flavor and Healthy Eats Await You at Union Coffee House and Cafe

by Editor Rebecka Hoyt

11 years ago, in August of 2010, is when Union Coffee House and Cafe opened up at 115 E. Front Street in downtown Buchanan, MI. I was thrilled that I didn’t have to go to another town to get some really good coffee. And, I automatically thought of the TV show “Friends” and how the “Central Perk” coffee shop had comfy chairs, a couch, cafe tables & chairs inside. I had the chance to talk with owner and manager Molly Thornton on a recent morning. When I asked her what inspired her to start the cafe she said, “The revitalization of 2008-2009 where there had been vacant buildings downtown and to offer healthier food options other than what was around town known as “bar food.”

Molly Thornton, who is also on the Buchanan District Library Board, creates the recipes and menu, and receives input from her crew. Molly states, “The younger staff here like to go to other places and learn what kind of drinks are new and hip, and they take it upon themselves to learn the techniques, and then they bring it to me and we figure out a way with our equipment and our supplies to create it to make it happen.” “Brown Sugar Bucks” was a collaborative effort between the staff and a customer. Molly said, “It’s basically a brown sugar cold brew with oat milk and cinnamon topper; you can say that it’s a cold caffeinated semi-sweet spiced drink.” One thing that I learned from Molly is that cold brew coffee and hot brew coffee have different tastes. “The cold brew is coffee brewed in water over a long a period of time so it pulls out a different flavor profile than hot coffee brewed in a short period of time, and it has a longer time to extract the caffeine out of the bean so it is a little bit more of caffeinated than a basic hot cup of coffee. If you drink them side by side, one would make you feel one way and the other would make you feel a little different – caffeine wise,” Molly explained. One of the baristas, Cassidy, has come up with some food specials.

The 4-full-time, happy, long-term baristas that are managed by Molly, have been very nice since day one! They even remember what you order. Sometimes, I order something completely different and I am sure that it catches them off guard! Each season they change up the drinks and food. Coming soon in early June, they will have their summer menu. A soup will be changed to a Roasted Red Pepper Gouda. It will have more of a summer esque vibe sandwich, food & drinks will change – stay tuned to their website and online store and by calling them to place an order over the phone for pick-up/curbside at 269-409-7004. You can also order “U” swag, and e-gift cards online. They also cater events. Because of the pandemic, they are at 50% capacity. They have plans to get some more outdoor seating on the side of Main Street soon that can accommodate more than two people, and she loves the idea of the outdoor eating area that the Andrews University students gave our community at the redevelopment community meeting. 

Black Bean & Avocado Plate with 4-Shot Caramel Latte, Photo by Stephanie Fain

Molly’s two favorite drinks are the Medium Roast Coffee with cream & Americano Supremo. Her favorite food item is the Veggie Reuben. My favorite drink is the Chai Tea Latte either hot/cold. And my favorite food item, hands down: Breakfast Bagel. True fact: Molly said that she “came up with the Breakfast Bagel, the night before I opened the shop. And now it’s the most popular bagel! It has a lot of flavor without meat.” A couple of our Buchanan Chronicle team members also like the Black Bean and Avocado Plate.

Breakfast Bagel, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Union Coffee House and Cafe is open 7 days a week, 7am – 4pm Monday – Friday; and 8am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday. If you haven’t been here yet, check them out along with a very good homemade peanut butter cookie! FYI, you will need something to drink with it! Feel free to comment on our Facebook post of this article and tell us what you like from Union Coffee House and Cafe.


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