A hop, a skip, and a jump!
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from College Station is the smaller town of Navasota. I had never been to Navasota before, this was my first official time. The only time I have been in Navasota would be driving through on the way to the Houston area. That is something, if you hadn’t already guessed, I am trying to work on! There are so many cool towns, people, and places to discover on this path of life and there are so many times I simply just “drive through” (you can take this literally and/or figuratively) things without appreciating them and taking the blessing of them in fully. These adventures are definitely expanding my horizons and changing my perspective to focus on slowing down life a bit and appreciate the little things God has placed in my path instead of just speeding through at 75 mph. Speeding through is definitely an easy thing to do in this day and age, that’s for sure. I now believe that Navasota is not a place that should be simply driven through.
Getting off of the highway 6 exit towards Navasota is a sight to be seen! There are wildflowers everywhere and there are many beautiful green fields that greet you immediately. The downtown meets you pretty quickly and it is the definition of “rustically adorable”. Is that even a thing? Well, I’m making it a thing because that is exactly how I would describe it. There are cute boutiques, dilapidated buildings, and brand new structures through the downtown. I absolutely love when old meets new and that is exactly how I would describe the downtown here in Navasota. Something that I really appreciate about towns like this is the abundance of railroad tracks and trains coming through. Madison, Kaylee, and I have the wonderful association of trains and going to our Nana’s house when we were younger. Her home was less than ten houses away from the railroad tracks and trains would come barreling through often. We had the best times there with her, all of our cousins, and our great aunt. Don’t you just love things that trigger sweet memories and moments like that? Navasota definitely gave Madison and I that nostalgia and brought about some great discussion about incredible memories from those fun times.
The “Java Hot Spot” fits in very well with the theme of old and new working together in downtown of Navasota. The coffee shop is in a cool, evidently older, structure that is connected to a different business. It is an interesting looking building with a built in covering for an outside seating area which is great for pretty days. When you go inside you are pleasantly greeted with the smell of coffee and you immediately walk into the seating area. You turn left and there is the small coffee bar where you see a stylish blackboard menu with a variety of different yummy drinks to order. The staff at the “Java Hot Spot” was extremely helpful with what to order. I was feeling really indecisive with what I wanted this day. I wanted to try something new but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted but the lady helping me at the counter, who I would later find out was the owner, was so helpful and patient with me. She recommended an iced vanilla breve beverage. I am not over exaggerating when I say that it was absolutely delightful. It was the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming. Madison ordered a caramel blended beverage with whipped cream and she had nothing but rave reviews as well. And it was pretty, which always makes it that much better. The owner of “Java Hot Spot” asked us if we were locals and offered us a rewards card. This rewards cards had stamps for each beverage bought and for however many beverages you buy you get one free. I like it when shops have a way to give back to their customers like that, very cool. I asked the owner if this was a relatively new place and she said they had been open since February of 2016. Something that really stood out to me about “Java Hot Spot” was that the owner explained to me that they used local coffee from “Independence Coffee Co” in Brenham Texas. I love it when people support each other in their local community and build each other up by using each other’s products. She was very proud of this, as she should be. It impressed me that people would come into “Java Hot Spot” and the employees would know them by name and remember what their favorite drink was. Any place where someone can walk in and an employee can say, “Would you like the usual today?” is a my kind of place. Building relationships with people in the community is what it is really all about. One lady came in and was asking the owner questions about the store. The owner stated that she had lived in Navasota for pretty much her whole life. How cool to live and grow up in a town and be able to supply it with a place as cool as the “Java Hot Spot”? I thought that was pretty neat!
To my surprise, when Madison and I were sitting in “Java Hot Spot”, a friend from one of my classes through the door. I was pretty confused because Navasota is a good 25-30 minute drive from College Station. When I asked her what she was doing in Navasota, she explained to me that she is a Younglife volunteer at Navasota High School and that she always comes to this coffee shop before she meets with her Younglife high school girls. Younglife is “a non-profit organization that reaches out to nearly 1.5 million middle school, high school and college students in communities across the United States and around the world. Young Life provides role models, safe activities and a sense of significance to these students. It was founded in 1941 by a young pastor with a passion for the students in his community who had no interest in Christianity.”(https://www.younglife.org/About/Pages/School-Relationships.aspx) She said sometimes when they hangout after Younglife they come to the coffee shop and gather there. That is so very cool that the “Java Hot Spot” at times provides a place for the Younglife leaders and students to extend their time together and further construct relationships with one another. SO COOL.
“Java Hot Spot” is full of personal touches that make the coffee shop very comfortable and special. There are bar stools near large window that has burlap coffee bags as the cushions. This cute, but rustic, touch adds so much personality and flare. There’s a ton of exposed brick (my favorite!) and star tiles around the windows and doors. The light colored brick with the pop of red which black accents creates a homey atmosphere without it feeling “dark”. There is also wood paneling near the coffee bar and featured painting hanging around the shop. These paintings look like they were painted by people in the community and they are absolutely beautiful. I love it when shops incorporate the community is so many unique ways like this one does. It really shows that the place cares for the community and is so much more than just “the local coffee shop”. Don’t even get me started on the music! The music in the background was fantastic and presented some of my all time favorite songs. I did not even have to put headphones in while I was working on homework there because the songs played were basically my playlist. I felt like every song they played I was like, “Ah, Madison, that’s my favorite!” Hillsong, Bethel, Chris Tomlin, the list goes on and on!
I was extremely impressed with the “Java Hot Spot” and I believe it has a really cool impact on the community in Navasota. I will for certain be back and I’m looking forward to that visit.
Love, Allie Boykin
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