MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) -- I AM Java Coffee House makes it a point that every customers leaves in a better mood than when they first walked in the door.
Dena and Ron Hale opened up the coffee shop in May 2016 after a trip to Florida. They found coffee that they liked in the sunshine state, but it wasn't available in southern Illinois so they decided to make their own.
Dena says the decision came after lots of prayer and her husband came up with name I AM Java during a church service.
"God is the great I AM, but you don't have to be Christian to enjoy good coffee," she recalls. "Good coffee and a warm beverage, to us, is the best way to reach out to people in need."
The coffee shop has earned awards like several Reader's Choice placements from the Southern Illinoisan newspaper and recognition from the city of Murphysboro.
However, it's found a way to give back to the community that loves it so much.
"Each month, the baristas have decided that they want their tips to go to some local charity," Dena says. "This month it's the Murphysboro Food pantry."
The business and its employeesd have also made donations to veterans groups, as Dena herself is a vet, and to local schools.
Here's the coffee's that Brooke got a sip of when she visited I AM Java:
- I AM JAVA Mocha - White chocolate and caramel with steamed milk and espresso
- Sticky Caramel - English Toffee and caramel with cold brewed coffee and milk over ice
- Frozen Vanilla Latte - Vanilla with cold brewed coffee blended into a milkshake consistency
Brooke also had the chance to bring back her barista skills from college and made her own coffee concoction.
- The Brooke - White chocolate and caramel pecan, espresso, over ice and topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle!
Many of these drinks can also be made sugar free.
In addition to drinks, I AM Java Coffee House makes fresh muffins, cookies and savory breakfast pastries each morning.
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