Saturday, November 1, 2014

Life is Too Short for Bad Coffee

The News 3 This Morning gang in 2012
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I still remember the first time I ever stepped into Crossroads Coffee Company in Carterville.  While I don't recall the exact year, I can tell you it was before Dan Gentz and his family bought the place.  The menu didn't even exist back then.  They only had coffee and pastries.  I was meeting a colleague with the Men's Health Conference to discuss our upcoming event and I had hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie.

I didn't think much of that first visit.  Sure the hot chocolate and cookie were good, but I did not drink coffee at the time, and didn't anticipate going back anytime soon.  Little did I know Crossroads would become my favorite place to eat in southern Illinois in a short period of time.

Adventures in eating fresh
My friends and coworkers on the morning show at WSIL used to go to Subway every Friday.  We'd leave the station at 9 a.m. for a break, and we didn't want bacon and eggs.  Since we all got up in the middle of the night, we were ready for sandwiches and pizza by that hour of the day.  We alternated with trips to Dairy Queen as well, just to add some variety to our Friday morning "Happy Hours."

I remember scrolling through my Facebook feed in late 2011 and seeing a picture of a hamburger posted by Crossroads.  It was the Crossroads Burger and it looked delicious.  I commented on the pic, asking if it was served at any time or just during lunch hours.  I was excited when the response was "you can get lunch anytime you want here."

They loved us there!
It took little convincing to swap our Subway/DQ trips with a visit to Crossroads.  After that first Friday we were hooked.  We went there every week, sometimes stopping in more than once.  Many of us visited with other friends and family members too.  Sadly, on October 31, 2014, Dan and his crew served their last cups of coffee and delicious food.

The first Kevin HunsBurger in 2013
You've probably read or at least heard about my story on the Kevin HunsBurger.  If not, click here for the details.  Long story short, on a Friday morning in late 2012, Dan joked with us about creating a burger in my name.  By January 2013, it was on the menu, and two bucks from each one sold went to the American Cancer Society.  I ate the very first one they served and I'm honored to say I had the very last as well.  

The last HunsBurger
Dan and his crew always treated the morning team right.  I can't put in to words how much I appreciate the way everyone there made us feel like Crossroads was our place.  It really was a happy hour (or hour and a half) for us.  The food was always top notch and there were enough menu options to keep anyone from getting bored.  Tables were reserved for us, which was great on busy mornings. Crossroads became a sponsor of a wrestling endeavor I was a part of at one point.  They also donated items for various charity events and helped people in the community anytime they were asked.

The team in 2014
I know Dan, Lisa, Taylor, and the rest of the Crossroads gang will do well in their future endeavors. I've never felt more important at a place of business in southern Illinois than when I was at Crossroads.  I think my friends would agree with that.  Thanks for the many memories.  You hold a special place in our hearts.

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