GENEVA – Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse in Geneva is garnering national caffeine cred.
The 3rd Street business recently landed on People magazine’s list of must-visit coffee shops in the U.S. The online article, entitled “24 Coffee Shops in America You Have to Visit,” was published May 28 on People’s website with the excerpt:
“Not a coffee drinker? This popular spot has a pastry kitchen upstairs, where bakers prepare delightful cakes, muffins, croissants and more. The real decadence? Their homemade gelato.”
Graham’s 318, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was one of three Illinois coffee shops to make the list. Bourgeois Pig in Lincoln Park and Kafein in Evanston also landed spots.
Two days after the online article was published, a regular customer told employee Talia Duncan about the news, which was then passed on to owners Robert and Beckie Untied, said Jayni Wunderlich, Graham’s 318 vice president and the owners’ daughter.
When the family found out about the article, Wunderlich said they were blown away.
“We’re just amazed,” Wunderlich said of being recognized on a national level. “It’s such a validation for owning our own little coffeehouse, that we’re doing everything right, basically, [and] that people keep coming back for more, and they obviously share the love with others.”
The love for the coffee shop certainly was shared when a Facebook post referencing the People magazine listing received 250 “shares” and 1,000 “likes,” said Wunderlich, who handles the coffee shop’s social media channels.
“It’s one thing to get a bunch of ‘likes,’ but to actually have 250 different businesses and people share the article ... that was just so cool,” Wunderlich said.
Often a busy spot for coffee drinkers, the day after she shared the news on Facebook, Wunderlich said business was “insane,” but couldn’t necessarily make the correlation between the popularity of the post and an uptick in sales, since it also was the “first warm Sunday in a while.”
How the coffee shop landed a spot on the list of 24 remains a mystery. Wunderlich said she reached out to contacts at the magazine to thank them for the coverage, but hasn’t yet received a response.
Aside from “good coffee that is locally roasted,” Wunderlich offered her own reasoning for the recognition: a full espresso bar; home-made gelato; a knowledgeable staff; and its pastry chef, who bakes fresh pastries seven days a week.
For now, Wunderlich plans to play up the buzz during Swedish Days, but – other than that – things will remain business as usual.
“For us, we’re just going to keep going and keep doing what we do. We’re not going to do anything differently,” Wunderlich said. “We feel like whatever formula we have is working.”
Grahams 318 Coffeehouse is at 318 S. 3rd St. in Geneva. For information, visit www.318coffeehouse.com.
To see the People magazine article, visit www.people.com/people/greatideas/gallery/0,,20926551_30341212,00.html#30341212