Southern Grace provides safe space to try a cup of coffee

After parking in the cul-de-sac of Tedford Street, I walked up the steps of building 312, greeted by the wafting smell of coffee and a picket sign in the yard that read, “Your mistakes do not define you.” This was my introduction to Southern Grace Coffee, my place of choice for this third look into a small Maryville business. 

Upon first glance, 312 Tedford Street is just another historic Maryville home. On the inside, however, one is immediately introduced to everything Southern Grace Coffee is all about: community, coffee and Jesus. The interior aesthetic of the shop looks like it came straight from a Pinterest board. 

Tosha Wilhelmsen, owner of Southern Grace Coffee is currently working to raise funds to open a ministry that she is planning to name “Girls with Grace.” Her goal is to create a space for girls to grow in their faith and eventually become leaders themselves. While I don’t follow any religious practice, I’m sure the shop’s Christian-centered charm would appeal to many of my fellow Maryville College students. 

This was my first visit to Southern Grace Coffee, so I was unsure of what to expect. After ordering a White Clover–one of the shop’s specialty blends which included honey, vanilla and brown sugar–I began to peruse the retail products out on display and discovered the shop has lots of options for purchase. In preparation for the holiday season, the shop currently has ornaments, nativity scenes, children’s books, and many other Christmas-related items for sale. 

Other specialty drinks include the Sweet Caroline–a coffee blend with honey, hazelnut and vanilla– and the Bees Knees– a coffee blend with lavender and honey. You can also order their organically sourced whole bean coffee in bulk on their website southerngracecoffeeco.com. Southern Grace’s menu also includes hot tea and caffeine-free options including hot chocolate and Italian cream soda.

  Also for sale were many other goodies, including the edible variety. At the counter, one can buy fresh pastries including muffins, cookies, and brownies. Displayed on shelves just around the corner, one can find less perishable food items like apple butter, biscuit mix, and caramel candies. On Friday and Saturday mornings, customers can also order fresh waffles and sausage. 

Customers should wear a face covering and keep a courteous six-foot distance between themselves and others while within the shop in order to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

With finals just around the corner and an ongoing pandemic, things may be stressful for many of us right now. Stopping for a warm cup of coffee at Southern Grace may be just the thing to help ease some of that stress. 

The shop is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. More information on upcoming events and specials at Southern Grace Coffee can be found on their Facebook page Southern Grace Coffee Co or their Instagram page @blessedbaristas.

A closer look at the shop’s menu reveals the many flavor options customers can add to their order, as well as some more retail items for sale, including boho earrings and keychains. 
Photo by Katie Conner.

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