More Than Java Café Is a Home Away from Home

Tabitha Clark named her café before she had even embarked on drafting its business plan and securing its funding and eventual location. “The thought of the name ‘More Than Java’ popped into my head 10 years before the café even opened,” said the former project manager for the U.S. Department of Defense at Fort Meade.

“I just knew I wanted it to be more than java.” And since opening in June 2015, she has maintained that vision in a café that excites all senses and sensibilities.

Smooth jazz fills the quiet gaps in conversations among friends but never overwhelms the exchange of ideas or  distracts people who are working at laptops and reading books. The aroma of freshly made coffee and foods made from scratch, such as Nana’s Peach Cobbler and cookies made by employee Sharon McGilvery, greet eager noses and arouse the curiosity of nearby patrons. And the tastes guarantee return customers and new friends.

“We have lots of regulars. Some even have particular seats they use,” she said. “But new people feel welcome and
comfortable too.”

From a distance they appear to be painted images, but up close these framed pieces on display are actually intricately sewn textiles from a local artist. Every five weeks Tabitha’s curator introduces a new wave of artistic expression on the large open wall in the café, and she holds a reception for that artist.

Even the cards that sit atop the front counter where customers enjoy friendly exchanges with Tabitha and her daughter Ashley Furbush Clark were created by local artists. Between tables are bookcases filled with books written by local authors for sale or for reading during a lazy afternoon. Book signing events for authors, such as mystery writer Debbie Mack, draw large crowds. One event had a five-piece band with the author’s son singing. The son drove from Canada for the gathering.

Social gatherings are fundamental to the café’s mission. Open mic nights, live music and sip and paint parties are among the many scheduled events.

The cafe “is an extension of my home,” said Tabitha. “I love entertaining people and cooking and they both came
together in the café.”

More Than Java Café is celebrating its second anniversary on June 26. Stop by and enjoy the festivities. And everyone is invited.

The café is located at 358 Main St. and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Signature Drink – French Toast Hot Chocolate

This drink consists of vanilla, caramel, white mocha, heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

by Therese Umerlik | Editor

2017-10-25T13:00:19+00:00 August 26th, 2017|Laurel|