Mobile coffee shop has rural theme
By Sarah Allen
The smell of brewing coffee is one of the most recognizable scents in the world. But, for Fertile Grounds Coffee and Roastery owner Corey Cockerill, that smell is more than just a wake-up call. It’s an important part of community.
Cockerill said when she was about 20, she had the idea to launch a coffee shop with the goal of serving farmers good coffee.
That goal was also the inspiration for the business name: Fertile Grounds.
“I just thought it was funny when I was 20,” Cockerill said. She added that it seemed like a perfect fit and it also “spoke to the kind of clients we were looking for.”
“This year, I turned 40,” Cockerill said. And now seemed like the time to “circle back to that (coffee shop) idea.”
Since January, Fertile Grounds has transformed from an idea to a reality — one that is quickly becoming a staple of local rural communities.
Fertile Grounds began by first selling beans at area shops. Then, in late June, it took to the road as its own mobile coffee shop, Cockerill said, “and it sort of exploded from there.”
Fertile Grounds sets up at different locations in Highland and surrounding counties. The shop has been at the Fayette County Health Department and the Fayette County City Building, as well as Vital Fitness and Technicolor, both in Wilmington. Also, the shop is parked every week at the Hillsboro Farmers Market.
“We have lots of requests to come park,” Cockerill said.
“It’s exciting and overwhelming and surprising,” she said, describing the success Fertile Grounds has already seen in its short time on the road. “I wasn’t really expecting the kind of response we’ve had, and it’s been incredible.”
Fertile Grounds’ regular stops for the week are pinned to the top of its Facebook page and posted on Instagram each Sunday. Cockerill said the schedule is updated on a daily basis, given that there is a lot of flexibility by nature.
The mobile coffee shop sells roasted coffee beans as well as fresh-brewed coffee and espresso drinks.
Recently, Fertile Grounds has begun a Name that Coffee contest through social media. Cockerill shared some of the suggested names, saying that one — a chai latte made with Half and Half — was dubbed a Farmer’s Tan by one Facebook fan.
“It’s super creamy on the bottom and the chai tea floats to the top of it, and it looks like a farmer’s tan,” Cockerill said.
Another drink was christened Cream of the Crop by another fan. Cockerill described it as a “super creamy, white chocolate iced coffee.”
“It’s super yummy,” she added.
The only rule with naming the drinks is that any suggestions have to be rural/farming themed.
All the drinks at Fertile Grounds are made from the shop’s own beans, which are ordered green from a co-op. The beans are roasted twice a week and is about a two-hour process, Cockerill said.
And while coffee may have been the inspiration for Fertile Grounds, the shop itself has quickly become about much more than coffee.
Cockerill said she brings her two children, ages 7 and 10, with her. While helping out, she said, they have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and to also share stories with the customers.
“It’s not fast-paced,” Cockerill added. “We’re there to build community.”
Cockerill, who is also an associate professor at Wilmington College, added that the mobile coffee shop will be a seasonal part of the Fertile Grounds venture. It will not operate during the school year; however, Fertile Grounds’ bagged roasts will still be available for purchase at local coffee shops, such as Batter Up Bakery in Leesburg and Kava Haus in Wilmington.
“If we’re not on the road, you can always get Fertile Grounds coffee at those locations,” she said.
Rooted in rural Ohio
To learn more about Fertile Grounds, visit www.fertilegroundsroastery.com or like them on Facebook by searching Fertile Grounds Coffee & Roastery.