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Ottumwa Stories: Coffeehouses With Purpose

Published February 19, 2019

It’s more than just water and beans. The coffeehouses in Ottumwa have a greater purpose in mind as they serve their customers. The coffee is amazing and the food is great, but the stories behind the counter are even better.

Coal Palace Cafe and Books – 226 W. Main St.  (641) 814-8700

Serving breakfast, lunch and coffee, The Coal Palace is one of nine microbusinesses operated by Optimae LifeServices, a health care and human services company providing services for Iowans with mental illness and disabilities. The Coal Palace provides valued job roles for local Optimae customers, who work directly with a job coach. Job coaches equip them with the skills, support and confidence they need to be successful in their positions.

At The Coal Palace Café and Books, you’ll find a wide variety of breakfast items including paninis, burritos, bagels and pastries. The fair trade, organic beans produce an amazing Coal Palace Brew, and espresso and cappuccino can be made in a variety of flavors. For lunch, fill up on specialty sandwiches, wraps and their homemade soups. Salads and sides are also available.


Hub Coffee – 133 W. Second St. (641) 226-3889

Hub Coffee is operated by The Bridge Church, the fulfillment of the church’s dream be able to provide a downtown location for people to have a space to come, be in community and have great coffee. Hub Coffee is a place where you feel comfortable and where you can see familiar, friendly faces as you come to know the baristas.

The Hub has purposefully selected one of the highest quality coffee roasters in the Midwest for its coffee in order to provide the best experience possible. Several specialty style brews are available, including drip, pour over, iced and nitro. You can also choose from espressos, teas, frappes, smoothies and many other hot and cold beverages.


The Vine – 1207 N. Jefferson St. (641) 814-4885

Located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Jefferson Street, The Vine Coffee & Eatery is a great place to meet with your friends after an event or catch up on your studies. Enjoy a relaxing environment while enjoying a warm or cold drink and any one of their delicious sandwiches or soups. The Lighthouse Plaza is literally a one-stop shop for great taste and great atmosphere. In addition to The Vine, it also houses LadyFit Studio, O’Town Books, SalonFit and the Klassi Kloset.

Breakfast is served all day at The Vine, as is their long list of specialty coffee, tea and other beverages. Later in the day you can choose from soup, wraps, salads and a variety of sides. Their lunch specials of soup and sandwiches are always a favorite. Call in your order and you can even have it delivered to your car.


Top Hat Coffee & Entertainment – 228 E. Main St. (641) 814-9129

Top Hat Coffee & Entertainment is owned by the couple who runs the volunteer-based Blessings Soup Kitchen in the building behind the shop. It is a growing family business, and the proceeds go to the soup kitchen. Freewill donations are accepted for services like renting out the basement for parties and events, as well as the Saturday entertainment.

Come for the coffee, stay for the food. Many types of hot drinks come in several flavors, and patrons can choose from regular coffee, pour over or cold brew. There are always great food specials for the day, and you’ll want to top off your visit with a slice of homemade pie.

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