Grace’s Acre is our go to coffee shop on Fridays.
It’s not exactly your traditional coffee shop. Inside there is an odd assortment of dried beans, baking products, locally sourced produce, glass milk jugs and all natural buttery popcorn topping should you need it. On the counter where you purchase the standard breakfast fare ( coffee, bagels, blueberry muffins) there is a large jar of slim-jim looking (but actually locally produced) beefsticks. Somehow these have become a cornerstone of a post run breakfast…and yet that’s not the oddest thing you’ll find there.
The store is owned by Ruben, the man artfully crafting our delicious bagels on Fridays, while Meredith mans the register and puts up with our shenanigans. I often walk in a little late, quickly grabbing a shower before heading over, and am always astounded by the noise our post NP crowd can make. That’s what joy sounds like people! When people decide that they want to spend their life building and owning a coffee shop i’m quite certain they don’t bank on 20+ sweaty humans showing up every Friday and raising the decibel level several points while tossing running gear all over the place. Meredith and Ruben don’t seem to mind.
For me Grace’s is a symbol of what NP has started to become and will hopefully continue to be in Baltimore. Ruben and Meredith haven’t ever come to a workout ( who is going to get the coffee ready?) but ask anyone that is lucky enough to join us for a breakfast and they will tell you that the staff of Grace’s is most definitely part of “The Tribe.” For people well beyond our small group, Grace’s is a positive force in the neighborhood, always ready with a smile or a half gallon of milk when you need it. It’s the type of place that will lend you some yeast when you need it, that will let you bring in nachos for a friend’s birthday, that will whip you up a great sandwich with whatever is around. If you didn’t know I was talking about a corner store you’d think I was talking about your favorite neighbor.
Instead of just writing another blog post about the push ups we did or the icy hill, I figured i’d give you some insight into the great people that have supported NP for years. Some of our most lasting friendships have been made over breakfast and although not all of us are lucky enough to be able to get breakfast together ( I am frequently one of those people) it’s good to know that the community has your back. Don’t hesitate to continue to expand your community in any way possible, even if it’s inviting your local bartender to a workout…you can never predict how worlds might collide. NP was once just a workout group but I think somewhere in the last two years of madness we became a lot more than that.
Buried among the plentiful positive Facebook and Yelp reviews of Grace’s you’ll find one boasting about the place but giving a kind warning that some running group tends to clog up the place around 7:45 on Friday mornings. We’ve been researching this and hope that we can figure out who this running group is; we’ve never had an issue.
I’m going to go buy some organic yogurt now…and maybe some buttery popcorn topping.
As always, Take Big Bites Out of Life.
NickShare via socials: