Tucked away in a compact corner of Crestline Village is Church Street Coffee and Books. The store’s skeleton tells tales of a once-upon-a-time Starbucks, but inside resides a business far from the likes of the Seattle chain—rather it’s a business of good people, good books and most importantly—good coffee.
Owners and friends Cal Morris and Carrie Rollwagen opened the doors of Church Street Coffee and Books not long ago on July 5, 2011.
“We had always tossed around the idea of doing something like this,” Morris says. “When I found out Starbucks was closing, I called her [Rollwagen] up and was like, ‘Coffee and books?’”
Now the dream is a real-life production of coffee meets cozy, open all days of the week. There is something for everyone on the menu whether a snack or a surge of caffeine is being sought. Morris lists the Breakup Cookie (salted ooey-gooey chocolate chip), the Treehugger (homemade granola bar), the chai tea and the Yerba Mate Latte as fan favorites. He also adds, “Everything is baked and mixed, in house from scratch.”
Not only does Church Street cater to customer food and drink cravings, it also satisfies the appetite of a ravenous reader. A collection of literature, both in print and e-book form, is dispersed and displayed throughout the shop available for purchase or perhaps just inspiration.
“I love to read,” Morris says. “And [the books] they’re based off my own library and Carrie’s library, built on the idea of what we think avid readers would want to read.”’
Everything from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Jayber Crow sits on the shelves, waiting for a curious mind to browse or a conversation to start. Morris mentions that the staff and customers share all kinds of ideas and conversations, and Church Street also plays host to a few book clubs.
“Food and ideas are really great avenues to explore life. They are good vehicles for discussion,” he says. “We wanted to have this place become a cultural hub where ideas are shared more freely and openly. Book clubs are just a natural progression of those ideas.”
Such activities are just the start for Church Street Coffee and Books, the place that’s all about the Birmingham community.
“We’re in the people business. We just happen to sell good books, good coffee, good pastries,” Morris says.
Stop by and discover what you’ve been missing.
Church Street Coffee & Books
81 Church Street Suite 106
Birmingham, AL 35213
Mon-Sat: 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sun: 7 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Photos by Reed Richardson