In the fast-paced world of chain restaurants and mass production, a cozy coffee oasis has planted itself in the heart of Auburn.
This past week, Auburn resident and alumna Karen Oshel, along with her husband Leonard, opened Coffee Talk, a coffee house on the corner of Samford Avenue and South College Street.
Karen had worked with children for 27 years, but said she has always wanted to open a coffee shop. The couple said the Samford location was exactly what they had been searching for.
“We just fell in love with the place,” Karen said. She first noticed the building on her way to church one Sunday. “Doors just kept opening up, and we knew this was the place.”
The charming house has several rooms for study, conversation or any type of fellowship, each decorated in the Oshels’ special hometown hospitality style.
“It’s really just an extension of our home,” Karen said. “We wanted it to feel warm and inviting, and I think we accomplished that.”
The idea for Coffee Talk started when the Oshel home outgrew its weekly Bible study. The couple wanted to have a place where people could meet to talk and fellowship. With several warmly decorated rooms to choose from and one room with a door, Coffee Talk is an ideal place for individual study or group meetings.
“We have two rooms equipped with Wi-Fi for the students to use,” Leonard said.
The family serves lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and a frozen drink called a “shiver.” Coffee Talk isn’t just about coffee, though.
The shop also specializes in baked goods. All of the recipes are made from scratch and range from brownies, muffins and pies to bread and bread puddings.
“The one thing we wanted to do was make everything home-baked,” Karen said. “We have some really terrific recipes.”
Coffee Talk also offers a lunch and breakfast menu with a wide variety of items such as chicken, tuna and potato salad sandwiches, as well as ham and turkey sandwiches. Breakfast options include cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and biscuits, among others.
The store also has its own gift shop, where students can find charming arts and crafts made by friends of the Oshel family.
“We have a lot of friends who have hobbies,” Karen said. “It’s an opportunity for them to express their talents.”
Several of the items’ sales benefit charity.
It’s a family affair, Karen said, whose daughter, two sons and grandchildren all help out around the shop.
Coffee Talk boasts a lovely southern décor inspired by coffee.
“I love the atmosphere at Coffee Talk,” said Kaitlan Johnstone, a sophomore in biomedical sciences. “It’s perfect whether you want to hang out with friends or get some studying done.”
Coffee Talk is sure to please the Auburn community, from students to families, and everyone in between. Stop by anytime Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.