News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 26, 2018
Coffee house opens in Stonington

by Monique Labbe

The Island Community Center café room is the site of a new coffee house program designed to provide a social gathering place for Island residents young and old.

A collaboration between Friends In Action, the Island Community Center and the Healthy Island Project and coordinated by René Colson Hudson, the coffee house is Monday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. and offers both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, sweets, fruits and assorted snacks. Cribbage boards and cards are also available for those who wish to play a game while socializing.

The coffee house is in its fourth week, and has had a modest turn out thus far. The summer season, said Hudson, is a difficult time to start a new program.

“We’re really hoping it will become a thing, though, once the word gets out,” she added. “It’s a great time to talk, get to know people, and just get out.”

While the grant received to start up the program, awarded by the Maine Community Foundation, was given with the idea of targeting those 50 years of age and older, Hudson said that the coffee house is open to anyone who would like to participate.

“I think the idea of having an intergenerational program is so important. The more the merrier,” she said.

During the coffee house on July 16, residents Willie Morey and Larry Jones sat at the table with Hudson, where the conversation went from island history, to bragging about children to possible remedies for a rash caused by the brown-tailed moth.

“There’s no shortage of conversation at this table,” said Morey.

This is the second coffee house program Hudson has helped coordinate over the last year. The first one was in Blue Hill last November. That coffee house is on Wednesday mornings at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, and remains steady in participation, said Hudson.

“We have people who bring food to share for that one, and that is the idea here, too, that it will become what Blue Hill has become,” she said.

The café room at the Island Community Center is also the site of a new coffee-and-cards program on Friday mornings, from 10 a.m. to noon. That program is coordinated by the Island Community Center, and operates similarly to the coffee house.