Have you ever wanted to visit a coffee shop where you can order drinks made with homemade syrups, smoothies made with real fruit, or even homemade sodas? If so, Shimoji Coffee in Vandalia, Illinois is the place to go.
Shimoji has been open since late September of 2016. I visited the drive-through coffee shop on the very first day it was open and literally went back every single day for two whole weeks! What drew me to Shimoji Coffee in the beginning, was the fact that the syrups are house made with natural ingredients. After my very first visit, though, I found the service was top notch. Every visit ended with a smile, if not a whole bunch of laughter.
Shortly after opening, Shimoji started selling homemade baked goods made by a local girl who puts love and care into her baking. Some of the baked goods Shimoji sells include glazed donuts, blueberry and banana muffins, raspberry and peach pastries, sugar cookies, granola bars, and chocolate chip cookies. My personal favorite snack is the glazed donuts. They are so soft and sugary and they melt in my mouth. The donuts are simply irresistible. To be honest, though, I’ve tried each snack and they are all incredibly delicious.
In December, I decided I loved Shimoji Coffee so much that I would apply to work there as a barista and I got the job! Being employed at Shimoji Coffee is so much fun. Working with my fellow baristas and having discounted coffee are something I look forward to every day. My favorite thing about working at Shimoji, though, is making the customers happy! This is something the owner, Sheba, relates to very well.
Over the time I have worked for Sheba at Shimoji Coffee, I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know her. A little over ten years ago, Sheba lived in Washington and was working in a restaurant in Seattle which was located across from a drive-through coffee shop.While Sheba was working in the restaurant, a young girl bought the coffee shop and was very successful in the business. Sheba saw how successful the young girl’s business was and was inspired by her. Being in Seattle, surrounded by cafes and delicious coffee only made Sheba’s dream grow.
When Sheba and her husband moved to Vandalia, she found Vandalia was the perfect place to open a drive-through coffee shop. With the nearest well-known coffee shop being 40 miles away, Vandalia was in need. Sheba went with a drive-through building, not only to bring in interstate business, but also because it was a low-risk business decision, and a clever one at that considering the lack of foot traffic in the small town.
Sheba’s motivation to run Shimoji Coffee is about so much more than her love for coffee, I could tell this from my very first visit when she gave me that genuine smile of hers as she sent me off with my delicious Mocha Latte. Sheba loves owning a coffee shop because it gives her the opportunity to meet different people, who have different stories. “It’s really interesting and I can learn a lot from them,” Sheba told me when I asked her about all the different people she has met through Shimoji Coffee.
Shimoji Coffee is my favorite coffee shop and somehow I have been lucky enough to be employed there! The Shimoji menu contains drinks such as fresh drip coffee, lattes, teas, smoothies, Shimo Sodas and Yukiccinos; which are the Shimoji version of a Frappuccino. Shimoji Coffee has new drink specials every few weeks, based on upcoming holidays and seasons. The next drink special will be an Irish Cream Latte, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. At Shimoji Coffee, our goal is to provide good coffee and make our customers happy.