Admit it. Starbucks is safe. You know what you're going to get. A grande cafe skinny mocha, blah, blah, blah, and you'll wait in the drive-through line that snakes out past Olive Garden for 15 minutes to get it.
Please stop. Starbucks will save the rain forrests without your $7. However, the fine folks at Papa's Coffee Express may not stay open, and bring with them the warmth of a Mom and Pop coffee shop, without it.
Bypass Starbucks, drive one block East to 124 S. Forrest Ave., Liberty, Missouri (in the Feldman's shopping center) and drive up to the what once was drive-through film processing hut. There you will find a tiny little coffee shop, ran by a friendly man and one other employee. They might not have iced cake pops, or lemon poppy seed bread, but they do have a small selection of breakfast/pastry items. Those selections change based on availability by a local baker, however recently their offerings have been muffins, biscotti, scones, and sausage, egg and cheese croissants. Better yet they have our hometown Roasterie Coffee in several flavors, and I promise you they will make you a darn fine cafe skinny mocha latte, or carmel, or vanilla, or your choice of about 15 other flavors, including plenty of sugar free options. For those of you who don't get along with milk, they offer soy.
You can drive right up to the window, be greeted with a smile, and pretty soon your first name, give your order and be cruising happily along your way in 5 minutes. You could even honk at the people still waiting in line at the Starbucks you passed 6 minutes ago.
If you like a coffee shop not for its speedy drive-through service but for its indoor ambiance do not fret. Inside Papa offers Wi-Fi, a warm atmosphere, and plenty of friendly conversation.
I know for those of you who don't like change this could be a challenge, to drive 30 seconds more down the road, and shave 10 minutes off your morning commute. But as the sign in the window says, when you support a small business, you are not contributing to a CEO's vacation fund, you are contributing to the owners daughter's piano lessons. Take a chance, and then meditate on that with your extra time, and your delicious cafe mocha.