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Joe Muggs fills bookstore coffee cravings

Dec. 21, 2011 @ 07:30 PM

BARBOURSVILLE -- Few shopping districts were as shaken up by the fall of the once popular chain of Borders Bookstores than the Huntington Mall.

Thankfully for shoppers, a new Books-A-Million franchise opened within a few months. The new Books-A-Million (or BAM) also opened a new Joe Muggs Coffee House franchise.

Joe Muggs was established as a spin-off of the Books-A-Million brand in 2001. Though most Joe Muggs stores operate within Books-A-Million's superstores, there are also a few standalone Joe Muggs newsstands.

Joe Muggs Cafe Manager Jessica Warren worked at the now defunct Seattle's Best Coffee at Borders and helped oversee the transition before the new Joe Muggs Coffee opened in November.

"The Joe Muggs equipment is actually very different from the Seattle's Best Coffee," she said. "Everything they did at SBC was automatic. We actually pack our espresso grinds ourselves, so we prepare each of our shots. The entire backroom was gutted when Borders closed, so when we went in with the new shop, we had to put in all new fixtures. We also put in a new case for baked goods up front and a Joe Muggs coffee cooler. It just takes a lot longer to prepare a cafe than open a bookstore."

The coffee shop offers a wide assortment of hot and cold drinks. A simple cup of the coffee of the day sells for $1.55 for a tall, $1.85 for a grande and $1.90 for a 20-ounce cup. Hot cocoa ranges in price from $2.80 to $3.50. Chai lattes run from $2.95 to $3.55. There is also a variety of baked goods like turtle cheesecake ($3.99), chocolate chunk cookies ($1.49) and cupcakes ($1.99).

"We have some items for the holiday season," Warren said. "There is a Peppermint Bark Moca made with Ghirardelli chocolate. There's also a Frozen Hot Chocolate which is a Snow-Joe, a smoothie made with Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix. So it's literally frozen hot chocolate.

"We also have a variety of popular non-coffee drinks," Warren added. "We use Oregon Chai for our hot and cold chai teas. We now use Republic of Tea brand for our warm tea drinks. At Seattle's Best we used the Tazo. While Tazo is a very good product, I think that Republic of Tea is absolutely amazing. While Tazo sticks to traditional types of tea -- black tea, red tea, etc., Republic of Tea has a lot of flavored teas. Our most popular flavor is the Ginger Peach. We also have a Blackberry Sage tea. We also have danishes that are selling like crazy because they are very tasty."

Joe Muggs coffee is located inside of Books-A-Million at the Huntington Mall. It is open during standard mall hours. Cash and all major forms of credit are accepted. For carry-out orders and more information, call 304-733-9252. For full holiday hours visit the mall's website at www.huntingtonmall.com.

If you go: Joe Muggs

Type of food: Coffee shop

Address: 120 Huntington Mall, inside of Books-A-Million

Hours: Standard mall hours

Phone number: 304-733-9252

Payments accepted: Cash and all major credit/debit cards

More online: For more than 150 restaurant profiles and growing, visit the entertainment page at www.herald-dispatch.com.