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BG Falcon Media

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Popular downtown business hits 25-year milestone

Grounds For Thought

One of Bowling Green’s oldest coffee shops turned 25 on Nov. 15.

Grounds for Thought celebrated the milestone this past Saturday with a small concert.

Owner Kelly Wicks said that Grounds for Thought is a community place for everyone from students to faculty.

“Grounds is a place where everyone in the community can be comfortable, just relax and enjoy the atmosphere; whether that be a book group, poetry group,” Wicks said. “It’s a very chill place.”

Grounds for Thought as a business is family-owned and run, he said.

“My wife Laura and I are business partners,” he said. “We’ve been married for 53 years and my mom is one of the co-founders of the store. My daughter is a junior in high school and helps out whenever she can, and my son is a sophomore in the College of Music and helps out in the store as well. So it’s truly a family affair in the sense.”

Grounds for Thought has experienced some significant changes since their inception.

“We’ve grown from 1,000 square feet, 9 tables and 900-1000 books in fall 1989 when we first opened to now having 8,000 square feet, a quarter of a million comic books, novels, movies and records,” Wicks said.

Wicks is the musical director for the Black Swamp Arts Festival, and often has musical artists perform at Grounds.

“I keep in touch with a lot of artists and agents who have performed,” he said. “We have everything from local acts to a couple Grammy winners. We had Eddie Shaw, this really great sax player from Chicago, gypsy jazz players, the whole lot … It’s not defined by category.”

While the store is known as a coffee shop, Grounds sells used books as well.

“Since we are a used bookstore, community, faculty and even students bring in bags and boxes of books each day,” Wicks said. “It’s a great way to build our inventory.”

The shop also prides itself on providing the community with fresh, locally sourced coffee and

bakery items.

“Besides or coffee, we sell ice cream, pastries and other goodies,” Wick said. “We are a certified roaster, so we roast our own coffee in small batches. It gives it fresher taste. We’ve won the ‘Best Coffee in BG’ award for the past 23 years.”

Caitlin Thompson, a barista at the store, enjoys how at home she feels there.

“I love the atmosphere,” she said. “I’ve been here for a year. I came after working at Cookie Jar for 5 years. The atmosphere is so homey, I love the books and the coffee. The owners are great as well, really interact with the community. They will cover for us if we’re sick and give small things like a $50 bonus at Christmas because they care.”

Senior Chloe Smicklevich agrees.

“It’s like home, but it smells and tastes like great coffee. It’s so warm and inviting.”

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