February 8, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.

Staying Grounded

New drive-thru coffee shop is open in Fort Recovery
Espresso pours into two cups at Fort Recovery’s Grounded Cafe, which serves seasonal specialty beverages. This month, its Valentine’s Day themed drinks are the Cupid’s Mocha, Lavender Love and Honey Bee Latte. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
Espresso pours into two cups at Fort Recovery’s Grounded Cafe, which serves seasonal specialty beverages. This month, its Valentine’s Day themed drinks are the Cupid’s Mocha, Lavender Love and Honey Bee Latte. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)

It’s all about staying grounded in your community.

That’s what inspired the name of Fort Recovery’s new drive-thru coffee shop.

Becca Wood, 23, opened Grounded Cafe at 118 N. Wayne St. in December. Fort Recovery Chamber of Commerce celebrated with a ribbon cutting last month.

“I named it ‘Grounded’ because I just want to reflect that we’re grounded in our faith, in our family, and our community,” said Wood, noting the name is also a play on words with coffee grounds.

About two and a half years back, the 2019 Fort Recovery High School graduate decided she wanted to open a coffee shop. Her family helped get her dreams off the ground.

“We just decided that every town needs their own coffee shop and place of gathering,” she said.

Grounded Cafe offers a variety of coffee products, such as cold brew and seasonal specialty lattes. This month’s specials include Cupid’s Mocha, a vanilla, cherry and chocolate espresso with milk and a cherry cold foam, Lavender Love, a vanilla, white chocolate and lavender espresso with milk, and Honey Bee Latte, a honey and cinnamon espresso with milk.

The cafe serves tea options too. They include english breakfast, earl grey, peppermint or lemon ginger, as well as chai and matcha. They’ve also got “bubble drinks,” as Becca Wood calls them, which are similar to boba beverages with tapioca or jelly pearls.

Pastries are available daily. Judy Wood, Becca’s mother, bakes the scones, offering different flavors, such as maple pecan, apple cinnamon, blueberry lemon or banana walnut, depending on the day. The shop also started offering breakfast sandwiches on english muffins and plans are in the works to serve ‘grab and go’ lunch options — wraps, salads or soups — in the near future.

Grounded Cafe recently opened in Fort Recovery. The drive-thru coffee shop owned by Becca Wood, pictured above pouring steamed milk into a latte, offers different beverages and pastries each morning. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)

 

Grounded Cafe started as a pop-up shop, serving beverages out of a trailer for a little more than a year. Wood purchased the building along the brick section of Wayne Street in June. Beginning during the Fort Recovery Jubilee last year, she and her family removed and painted walls, added kitchen equipment and re-decorated. 

While in the midst of outfitting the cafe in July, Wood’s father, Jim, died.

“We worked and cried and worked and cried,” recalled her mom.

Wood’s uncle, Tom Wood, and her siblings helped her finish work at the cafe, which she remodeled to feel as if visitors were taking a trip outside of Mercer County all while in her Fort Recovery shop. The theme draws from feminine speakeasy and victorian aspects, sticking mainly to pink, brown and white colors, also present in the checkered flooring.

The northern wall is decorated with floral wallpaper and soft pink paint with mirrors complemented by spherical lamps hanging from the brown ceiling. On the south wall, there’s a collection of paintings and ornate candelabras.

Prior to opening the cafe, Wood briefly attended Ball State University. She also spent time living in Columbus, Ohio.

“I always thought that I wanted to leave Fort Recovery and go to the city because they always have the cool restaurants, cool things,” she said. “(When) I actually got there, I’m like, ‘Oh, this isn’t want I thought it would be. I want to go back home.’ So I’m like, ‘I’ll just bring that with me.’”

So far, Wood and her mom have enjoyed serving coffee. They’ve got five other employees helping out at the drive-thru cafe — pull up to the window in the alley along the south side of the building — which is open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

“It’s nice to see the people walk by,” said Judy Wood. “In the early hours, when it’s dark, and they just — they’re first getting up, there’s still kind of sand in their eyes, and they walk in, and they smell that coffee …”

“We’re the first people that they see, like they have to have an actual interaction with (of a morning),” added Becca Wood. “So we always try to make it a positive one.”

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