By Jeramie L Bizzle
Love at first sip is what describe Blue Max Coffee, located at 26 Lathrop Ave in Forest Park, IL. The coffee house first opened it’s doors in 2008, owner Terry Griffin brought the establishment from its previous owners and began his career in coffee after 25 years of working as a trader. “I didn’t know anything about restaurants”, says Terry who started roasting coffee as a hobby. “When I came here, the previous owners named the place after a dog, but the place was already a well known place in the community so I decided to keep it the way it was.”
The cafe/ restaurant is best known in the community for their coffee that is roasted in house, in addition their food is made fresh to order as they continue to go further and better with their brand. “Everything here is fresh, we have a garden where we get our herbs and spices from” says Terry. “I take inventory everyday to ensure that our customers only get the best.”
In a competitive world of coffee, being compared to other brands such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts is an insult according to the Blue Max family:
“People don’t know that what they are serving is complete garbage, we look for specialty beans and those beans are like $18 a bag”, says Terry. “But we have been compared in blind taste test to Bridgeport , Metropolis, I mean we’re no Seattle’s Best but we are up there”.
Although Blue Max is known best for their coffee, the cafe is also popular for creating multiple drinks that customers have a taste for. The latest invention included a peanut butter and a Neutella inspired mocha, a treat that no jar can hold.
The cafe has been featured in numerous post for their brand, with the success of the cafe, they like to help others in the community by donating to charitable organizations. “Big names may give back to the community, but they don’t live in the community”, says Terry. “We give money in more of a local nature such as churches and libraries, currently we are help Oak Park River Forest high school as they travel to places such as Tanzania to do social work. They sell bags of beans and we donate the money to them.”
A fun atmosphere, great coffee and good food are all the ingredients that make the Blue Max Cafe in Forest Park a must try. But it is without one thing in particular that Terry feels that makes the restaurant a complete success:
“My staff, without them I wouldn’t be able to pull this off”, says Terry. “I have three girls who been here for about three years, in this business that’s really saying something. If they didn’t care, we wouldn’t have the success we have. We have a baker here who we call SOX who gets compliments for her scones. I am just thankful for them. They prove that if you love this place, it will love you back”
Blue Max is open daily Monday through Friday from 6:45 am to 3 pm and weekends from 8 am to 3 pm.