Have you ever heard of Cameron, Texas? I hadn’t either, until today. After today I have nothing but interest and respect for this neat town. Isn’t that a cool element of life? You may have never even heard of a certain place or something one day, but the next day everything changes. My roommate, Haylee, and I were looking through different coffee shops and places we should discover that were not going to be too incredibly far away from College Station. “Old School Coffee and Creamery” in Cameron, Texas, took my interest from the moment I looked at the photos Haylee sent me of the shop. I was immediately interested and pulled in by the lovely interior and design of the coffee shop. The drive to Cameron was like a breath of fresh farm and country air. To our grand surprise, we hadn’t seen pictures of the exterior before, we pulled up to the shop and it was a stand-alone bright red brick building topped with a cool but odd looking roof. Just by the sights of the building, you could definitely tell that this was indeed an old school house long ago. There is a large yellow sign to the right of the coffee shop that says that that the building is the oldest building in the town of Cameron and possibly the oldest in Central Texas. The sign also states that the building was the first school in Texas as “The Milam Liberal Institute.” By this point, the view of the building and the sign with all of the information had me absolutely ecstatic. My love of coffee, education, and history were all going to be celebrated and highlighted in this space.
Upon walking through the over-sized wooden door, Haylee and I were overwhelmed with the clever mix of antiquity and sleek modern touches in this quaint shop. The exposed brick, the cool wooden siding and the interesting light fixtures made the shop truly a sight to be seen. The round wooden tables were complemented wonderfully with the fun, metal mixed matched chairs with different bright colors. The light fixtures in “Old School Coffee and Creamery” are insanely neat from every standpoint. There are fun objects placed here and there in the shop to celebrate the history of the town, like the vintage 1964 letter-man jacket and the old school desk in the far corner with fun small games for children to keep entertained while their parents sip on some scrumptious drinks. One of my favorite pieces in the whole coffee shop is a large mounted Elk that seems to tie the whole place together. It is a beautiful creature that fits the atmosphere of the shop really well.
Decorations are cool. Furniture and light fixtures are fun to look and and admire. But much more important than all of those wonderful things are people. I’m a true believer that it is the people that make a place. People are the ones that make a space special and really gives it a heartbeat. Haylee and I had the privilege to meet Angela, who was working at the shop when we visited. I was having indecisiveness on what drink to get because I wanted to branch out and get something out of the ordinary. Angela recommended the “white chocolate raspberry” iced drink for me and the “snickers” iced drink for Haylee. My drink what absolutely out of this world. White Chocolate Raspberry is my favorite cake but I would have never thought to create a coffee drink with those flavors! Absolutely unique and delicious. I had a sip of Haylee’s drink and it was divine. If you are a fan of the marriage of coffee and chocolate with a hint of caramel, that is definitely your drink! Angela did not only recommend awesome drinks, she also gave us the inside scoop on the building that houses the coffee shop today. The building first served as a private school known as the “Milam Liberal Institute”. It was later a public school, it housed Central Texas’ oldest newspaper, a 1940s tire company, and an electrical company was there at one point as well. Something neat about the building is that it is actually three stories. Thanks to the insight of Angela, we learned that the top story of the building used to house lodge 56 meetings of the “Odd Fellows”, otherwise known as “I.O.O.F.”, in 1948. I had never heard of the “Odd Fellows” before. Angela said that it was an organization having somewhat similar attributes of the “Freemasons.” I did not know too much about this organization either, other than the fact that it had to do with secrecy and charity. I did a bit of research on the “Odd Fellows”, with the help of Angela, and found out the the “Odd Fellows” started in 17th century England. The group acquired the name, “Odd Fellows” because at the time it was uncommon for an organization to have the purpose of helping people and benefiting others. The group’s selfless acts seemed to be odd and impractical in society. We were able to talk about and discuss the rich history of the building and the groups and different types of people that breathed life into the place over time. We were also able to have a long conversation with a customer there about the “Freemasons”. The discussion linked in perfectly with our interest in “Odd Fellows” and the role they had in the building. It is a joy to be able to meet so many different people and learn things I would have never had the chance to know or be exposed to otherwise. A cool way the “Old School Coffee and Creamery” connects people is their open mic nights. The shop also has local and Texas artists come and play their tunes. This is a great way to connect the community and really bring people together, I love it! And in addition to scrumptious coffee drinks, the shop also serves as a creamery. They serve none other than “Blue Bell” delicious ice cream. So “Old School Coffee and Creamery” really is the absolute best gathering place whether you are coffee obsessed or not, because who doesn’t like “Blue Bell”? I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t, but if you happen to know someone let me know!
If you are looking for an experience, not just a cool coffee shop, but a fabulous, thought provoking, delicious, and history filled experience, please head over to Cameron and visit the cool friends we made at “Old School Coffee and Creamery.” Even if it is a day trip, trust me friend, it’s worth it! I’m absolutely ecstatic to take Madison there soon and anyone else I can bring a long with me. I do not say this lightly, I’ve been to many coffee shops (shocker, right), but this is one of my absolute favorites thus far! “Old School Coffee and Creamery”, watch out, I’ll be seeing you very, very soon!
, Allie Boykin
Photos by Haylee Ward and Allie Boykin