By Jeramie L Bizzle
There are a lot of coffee spots that are known for their brand such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, But According to the folks at Blue Max Coffee Located at 26 Lathrop Ave in Forest Park, it is not about the brand, it is about the beans.
The popular local café first opened its doors in 2008, around the same time the market crashed, but that did not stop the café from being successful. In a recent interview with owner Terry Griffin, he talks with the examiner on how the establishment remains on top as they are getting ready to approach their five year anniversary.
E. Where did the name Blue Max come from?
T. The previous owners named the place after a dog, but the name was already established in the community so I didn’t think too much about the name change, so I kept it as it was.
E. How did you get started in the coffee business?
T. I was a trader for 25 years but I took two years off to pursue the restaurant business, but I did not have any experience in it. But I started roasting coffee as a hobby, its something I love to do. All of our coffee is roasted in house, we use specialty beans, all of our ingredients are fresh, we have a garden where we get out herbs and spices from, and the atmosphere is peaceful.
E. How do you keep up in the competitive world that is the coffee business? Have you been compared to another brand?
T. The stuff that the big names serve is garbage our beans are specialty and cost like $18 a bag. We been compared to Bridgeport and metropolis for example, I mean we’re no Seattle’s Best but we’re up there.
E. Besides coffee, what else are you guys most known for?
T. Our Scones, people always compliment us about our bakery, our sandwiches; everything is made fresh to order.
E. as you guys are getting ready for your five year anniversary, are there any people you would like to thank?
T. My Staff, they care so much, if they didn’t care I wouldn’t be able to pull this off, Kathryn for reaching out to people like the examiner, I am just thankful for them.
If you want to come see what they hype is about, the Blue Max Coffee and café is open from Monday through Friday from 6:45 am to 3 pm and weekends from 8 am to 3 pm. If you are interested in renting the spot out for a party or get together, the café is licensed to serve alcohol and they only serve liquor that is freshly brewed from the community. To rent the café you must call ahead with details.
Fun atmosphere, great coffee, great food and a courteous staff puts Blue Max in a league of their own. As said by Terry, “If you love this place, it will love you back!!!”