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“The Quest for a Good Cup – Part 3” – The Coffee Shop in Hurley

Gary Robinson feels at home in Hurley, Mississippi. You know what I mean? It feels right. It is where he knows he belongs. That was the feeling of the proprietor of The Coffee Shop & Café when I sat with him to pick his brain about what he thought was special about his place. To Gary, Hurley has a community spirit that embraced him immediately when he opened his shop in 2010. For the past eight years, he has come to know the people and the place that anchors him and his four employees. Hurley is a family, and that is who comes by for coffee, a bit of conversation, and maybe some lunch to boot.

Locals are the bulk of The Coffee Shop’s clientele and make their way there throughout the day. He will also deliver coffee with a minimum order – often to East Central Schools or other places in town. This is not a destination for folks looking for a cup of coffee on their way to work, but rather a place for moms with kids, retirees, and folks working locally that come through the door or use the drive-through to grab takeout. And when the vehicles drive up, Gary or Cassidie know what they are looking for before they get to the window or come through the door. Sound familiar? That is what makes hometown places like this special. It is a sense of giving and being there for someone that gives Gary his purpose.

the coffee shop
Gary and Cassidie at Coffee Shop

“I can have an impact on someone’s life whether I ever know it or not. It is the little things that count. I feel connected to this community and it is comfortable and anchors me here.” Which is why Gary and the shop support local sports and dance groups in town. The annual Christmas lighting program sponsored by the East Central Civic Association is also a special time of year when hot chocolate is served up to help this group support scholarships. Sounds about right for a small town where people that live there look forward to visiting for coffee and more.

The more includes soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Summer time means snowballs and coming soon will be hand-dipped ice cream in the evenings – after dinner of course. So, if you find yourself in Hurley sometime, drop by The Coffee Shop & Café, located on Hwy 613 just north of the “center” of town – the 4-way stop that defines the heart of Hurley. If for some reason, you get turned around (not lost mind you), just ask, and anyone will point you in the right direction.

More on other great coffee spots to come!!! Because, there is always time for a great cup of coffee, at a fair price, made by your friends and neighbors, in the place that we all call home.

Hope to see you at “your” favorite coffee shop soon!!!


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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