Donations fuel Hillside Grind’s commitment to WCU students

Hillside Grind Coffee Specials. Photo by Daniela Gamboa.

Hillside Grind coffeehouse has served WCU students for almost two years. What sets it apart from the other coffeehouses in the Cullowhee area is not only its exceptional coffee according to students, but also the fact it is one of the only coffeehouses that’s donation-based and a non-profit organization.

The coffeehouse is open Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m – 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Now that final exams are coming up, hours will change to help students study by  providing fresh coffee and good food until midnight.

UKirk Ministries works as an outreach program with Hillside Grind, located on the floor above. Together, they support each other on a day-to-day basis.

WCU junior Carrie Mosteller said she tries to be a regular customer since Hillside Grind is her favorite place to study. “There’s less people here and in Starbucks it’s more crowded and you always run into people that you know distracting you from your work,” she said.

Rev. Karol Farris, director of UKirk Ministries, said that the donation-based nature of Hillside Grind makes it a fun environment for students to study and spend free time.

Being of a non-profit organization helps students with pricing at suggested donations when it comes to coffee and pastries. There are events throughout the semester to help students get motivated to study such as the pancake breakfast the Sunday before exam week, April 30, which was free and delicious.
See for yourself.

Multimedia of Pancake Breakfast on April 30 by Daniela Gamboa.

Assistant Manager, Anna Harrill, a senior at WCU, said “When it’s warmer outside we like to have our corn hole boards out, our eno lounge up. We are currently trying to have a program where we let students borrow enos if they don’t have one.” Harrill is happy that WCU has more new food options on campus but would like to keep their customers happy and coming back.

Big Laurel Foods Food Truck is usually parked outside Hillside Grind Monday-Friday if the day is warm, said Harrill. Though, Hillside Grind and Big Laurel Foods do not work together they do support one another when it comes to the students as they are the priority. The food truck sells locally sourced food including Thai curry, grilled cheese, chili, and barbecue sandwiches.

Students come to Hillside Grind to study, play pool, and participate in the events that are offered throughout the year. It is a welcoming for all environment with plenty to offer.