BY ANICKA SLACHTA
Twelve years ago, Jane Kupersmith walked along the tracks of the Monon Railroad to her first job interview in Bloomington. She was an Iowa transplant hoping to attend Indiana University, and her strongest association with coffee was the cup she’d brewed that morning.
Today, she is co-owner of Hopscotch Coffee in the B-Line Station, a replica of an old-time train station, located along the ghosts of those same tracks. It’s a coincidence that Jeff Grant, her partner in their roaster and café, used to sneak his bike onto the unopened B-Line Trail for rides down the unfinished path.
Hopscotch, which opened in October, is both eco-friendly and family friendly. The café promotes recyclables, encourages customers to bring their own mugs, and makes wholesale deliveries by bike. Kupersmith and Grant sourced reclaimed materials to make many of the furnishings. One of their favorite pieces is a bench, built by local carpenter Rusty Peterson, that sits along the north wall of the café. The native beech wood — 3 inches thick, 17 feet long, and 100 years old — was salvaged from a demolition job of a building downtown. The interior is “a lot like our town,” Kupersmith says, “earthy but modern, with pops of color throughout.”
The café houses a roaster and features teas from a biodynamic farm in Michigan, as well as a variety of kid-friendly drinks. The ramp that wraps around the structure makes the building not only wheelchair friendly, but also stroller accessible.
“Coffee consumption is on the rise,” Kupersmith says. “The more good coffee in town, the better. I think what’s unique about Hopscotch is that we share the whole process with the customer.” Hopscotch’s customers are able to see fresh beans before they’re roasted — imported from equatorial Africa, Central and South America, and Asia — and witness the process that turns the beans into a finished, $1.50 mug of coffee. “And hopefully, they will be able to participate,” Kupersmith adds. She plans to teach local roasting classes, as well as offer “cuppings” — tastings for coffee aficionados.
Hopscotch also offers baked goods from Rainbow Bakery and Piccoli Dolci, smoothies, and specialty drinks, including the Cobra Verde, a citrus- and ginger-heavy green coffee drink.