This weekend we were fortunate to make our way down the piney trail to visit one of our very dear friends and neighbor growing up, Emily. Emily goes to Stephen F. Austin University in the oldest Texas town, Nacogdoches. I have been able to visit Emily a few times through the years and every time I have had the pleasure of being in Nacogdoches, I absolutely love it. The tall pines and the warm, home-town feel of the city really makes me quite warm inside. I love it when a place has a cool story and a strong, rich history, Nacogdoches definitely has that. From the days of the Caddo Indians residing in the city to the Battle of Nacogdoches in 1832, Nacogdoches has housed so many incredible events in the history of Texas. I definitely “fan-girled” when we were in the downtown area and saw Sam Houston’s first home in Texas. THE SAM HOUSTON! I was pretty stoked about it. Nacogdoches is an amazing place to go and discover some beautiful sights and fascinating history.
We have received many of suggestions to visit a coffee shop in Nacogdoches called “Thumpers”. My friend Emily first told me about the shop last semester and from there on we have received countless other requests for us to go visit “Thumpers”. Obviously I was very intrigued by the shop because I knew so many people enjoyed going there. I was also interested in the fact that shop was also a Christian book and gift store. The idea of a combined book store and coffee shop has always appealed to me, so I was ecstatic to visit the coffee shop and see everything it had to offer. The shop is off of North Street in town and is pretty close to sorority row, making it extremely convenient if you live the Greek life. If you aren’t Greek, do not fret, “Thumpers” is a short four minute drive from campus. The coffee shop has a few nice outdoor seating options that are covered and a drive thru as well. When I first strolled through the doors of “Thumpers”, I was immediately greeted with the amazing smell of coffee and books. That might seem like an unusual smell, but it is truly the best. There are plenty of comfy seats and tables, nice wooden booths, and a nice couch to relax on. My favorite touch in “Thumpers” is the reprint look alike on the ceiling of one of Micheal Angelo’s mural masterpieces with little angels flying through the fluffy clouds. The backside of the shop is where you will find the Christian books and gift options ranging from shirts all the way to Bible study journals. I found a lot of Christian Bible study and Christian nonfiction books that catered to college aged people. Obviously there were things for every age, but I found it refreshing that there were so many college aged level options especially since the shop is located in a college town. The menu has an abundance of drink options and it was hard for me to choose exactly what to get. I ended up getting a drink that caught my eye called a “Crazy Nutter”. The drink had hazelnut, toffee nut and chocolate. I was worried about it being a little too heavy on the chocolate side but it was not at all. The many flavors blended with the coffee beautifully and the after taste was still that awesome strong coffee taste. I loved sipping on my drink and hearing the rad alternative band “Judah & the Lion” in the background. Emily had her coffee fix for the day already, so she went with the hot chocolate. That is one of her favorite drinks at “Thumpers”; it is smooth and creamy. She also recommends getting the mocha at “Thumpers” for a nice combination of coffee and chocolate flavor. On your drink, other than the super cute “Thumpers” sticker, you will find a sticker with a Bible verse. I thought it was such a sweet and thoughtful touch. I can imagine being stressed out studying my life away and reading Romans 12:12 on my cup, “…rejoicing in hope, preserving in tribulation, devoted to prayer”, and being so encouraged!
Since so many people had suggested for us to visit this shop, I thought it would be nice to take this visit to the next level. Madison and I were fortunate to speak to Payton and McKayla, the baristas at “Thumpers” when we visited, about all of the different aspects of the shop that makes it so special. Payton told us that the shop has been open since March or April of this year so it is relatively new. The owners, Albert and Tracy, wanted to have more of a Christian based coffee shop in town that was different than the others. They also noticed that Nacogdoches did not have a modern and hip Christian book store in town and wanted to change that. At first it was just going to be a Christian bookstore and have a coffee bar to the side, but it quickly changed to being a full coffee house and bookstore. The owners are both from Nacogdoches and obviously have a heart for the city. Something that I wanted to know was how the coffee shop incorporated their Christian faith on a daily basis. Payton explained that it was all about the little things. The baristas and people working at “Thumpers” are kind and personal with all of their customers. Unlike a chain coffeeshop that might simply want to get you out of the door and on your way, at “Thumpers” you will be asked how your day is going and actually talk about life. The baristas told us that people coming into the shop can feel free to ask questions about God and other topics as well. They told us where the name of the shop came from and I absolutely adored the story! The term “Bible Thumpers” has been used for years as a negative name for Christians. The owners of the shop took this word with a bad connotation and made it into something positive! That is why they named the coffee shop “Thumpers”. I was also able to ask Emily why she loves coming to “Thumpers” pretty much every week to study. She told me that it is a quiet place to study and that she feels safe there. She loves that it is not a church or Bible study but it still has that community feel since it is a gathering of believers.
I persoanlly wish that there was a “Thumpers” in every town! I know I would be known as a regular for sure. I love the unique combination that “Thumpers” is and the joy that it brings to the Nacogdoches community. If you find yourself in the Nacogdoches area, drive yourself down North Street and check out “Thumpers”, I promise you’ll be a fan!
Love, Allie Boykin
Photos by Madison Boykin
Special thanks to Payton and McKayla, the baristas at “Thumpers”, for being so gracious and answering our questions!