Sunday, June 16, 2024

Georgette’s: This Maumee oasis brings sunshine to the community

a view of the front of Georgette's cafe
Georgette’s Grounds and Gifts in downtown Maumee has become a staple of the community

From lane reductions to a new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to almost finished roadway improvements on the Anthony Wayne Trail, Uptown Maumee has seen its fair share of changes over the last few years. But one thing that hasn’t changed (for the most part) is a mainstay eatery, Georgette’s Grounds and Gifts — a place to step away from the hustle and bustle of Conant Street (and day-to-day life), to enjoy a cup of coffee and a hot bite to eat all while supporting a great local cause.

Sunshine Communities, serving northwest Ohio

Established by Roy and Georgette Engler, who had five children with developmental disabilities, Sunshine Communities, Inc. provides residential, vocational, clinical, therapeutic and recreational services throughout the Northwest Ohio region. The main campus is located in Maumee with Georgette’s acting as an extension of their mission by employing Sunshine Community members and staff. Sunshine’s mission is “to create community among people with developmental disabilities, their families, friends and staff . . . by offering services that enable all of us to build relationships that enhance our lives through mutual caring and growth.” The coffee shop is a concise demonstration of community building as visitors sense the Sunshine Community values the moment they walk in the door.

More than a cup of coffee

Black coffee drinkers beware, Georgette’s Café Miel, a Spanish favorite with honey and a heavy sprinkling of ground cinnamon, is just the brew to convert you. Sweet, flavorful but robust, allowing the underlying roast to shine through, it is the perfect drink for a cold morning. The shop offers a wide variety of seasonal brews, along with sodas, smoothies, teas, and more. If you are in a rush grab coffee beans to brew at home. At Ray and Georgette’s original home on Maumee Western Road, Sunshine employees carefully prepare and package each blend. “Our mission and goal with every cup, and every sip, is to bring a little more sunshine into the world.” Their bean selection is sustainably sourced and supports growers in developing countries.

Food for thought

After selecting a brew, the shop’s food choices offer a modest selection of breakfast items — sandwiches on English muffins, paninis, avocado toast, oatmeal, burritos, quiche and freshly baked bread — which vary daily. Choosing an avocado and egg panini on sourdough, the sandwich came out fast and hot. It looked so good we forgot to snap an Instagram foodie pic.

For lunch, Georgette’s offers seasonal salads, soups and sandwiches from a menu which rotates selections from cooks constantly coming up with new dishes. Georgette’s also has an extensive baked goods selection. When finished with your meal, grab a fresh baked cookie, doughnut, muffin or cinnamon roll to take with you.

Good change

When we wrote that Uptown Maumee’s mainstays haven’t changed (for the most part) that referenced the fact that at the end of December, Georgette’s familiar backroom gift shop relocated to Sunshine Studio at 305 Conant Street, just two doors down. That move opened up a large sitting/gathering place inside the coffee shop, allowing for more fair-trade gifts and artisan crafts to be displayed. Georgette’s provides local artists with a venue to sell their artwork while they also offer classes in ceramics and stained-glass.

Whether through Sunshine Communities’ various services, Georgette’s delicious coffee and food, or Sunshine Studio’s celebration of the arts, the Englers have created a community worth supporting. 311 Conant Street, Maumee. 419-891-8888.

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