For seven years, Folklore Coffee & Company on Market Street has been a haven for students in need of a study space or a caffeine fix. Owners Ryan and Dawn Bracken believe that beyond serving good food, providing a comfortable atmosphere is key to running a successful business. Though the shop serves over a thousand customers each day, the staff works to ensure that each patron feels like a part of the Folklore family.
Barista Andrew Ogilvie says that Folklore delivers a warm, cozy ambience that customers of all ages will enjoy. Unlike Starbucks or other chain coffee joints, Folklore encourages customers to linger long after they have finished their orders.
“You can get a single drink and stay to study for five hours,” Ogilvie said. “Not a lot of places can offer that.”
Master Barista Lizzie Keener agrees. “A lot of college students come by to study or socialize,” Keener said. “Folklore has a great atmosphere; it has good vibes.”
Folklore strives to keep all of its products fresh and clean. They often rotate the menu to accommodate for the different growing seasons. Top-selling items include the Davy Crockett sandwich, which is piled high with cheddar and turkey and topped with avocado and sprouts, and the drinks playfully labeled “Hansel and Gretel” and “Papa Bear.”
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the shop has created the St. Valentine’s drink, a creamy coffee concoction. Ogilvie adds that the staff is constantly looking for ways to update and improve their menu and service. “Word is getting out about us; we’re constantly seeing what we can do to accommodate the crowds,” he said.
To keep up with the social media trend, Folklore posts frequently on Instagram and Facebook. They also invite local artists and musicians to showcase their work.
The coffee shop offers discounts to college students, and both baristas say that it is not rare to spot Etown students, staff or faculty grabbing a sandwich or a coffee. The busiest times are typically in the afternoons and early evenings.
Folklore does not cater to just one age group; rather, it is a hub of activity for all ages to enjoy. Books line one wall, and board games beckon players from the tables in the corner. Along with traditional tables, the shop boasts comfortable chairs and bar stools to seat a diverse clientele.
The spot is also a popular hub for classes and campus organizations. Dr. Kyle Kopko, Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement & Engagement, treats members of the Honors program to a drink one night every fall.
Next time you’re in Elizabethtown, stop by Folklore on the corner of North Market and South High Street. With charmingly slanted floors, tantalizing aromas and a homey environment, the coffee shop is one of the town’s hidden gems.
“Come on by,” Keener urges. “We’re committed to giving you an experience you’ll tell tales about for years.”