Life Recommends for December 2014: People We Love at Blackbird Cafe

baristasOne or more of the Lifers can often be found at Blackbird Cafe, one of our favorite haunts in Downtown Valpo. We've made good friends, created great memories, and eaten some wonderful food. 

So now, since it's the holidays, we're going to get sentimental and share who we love and who we'd love to know within the walls of Blackbird Cafe.

"I love seeing so many people at Blackbird Cafe! Justin is great... Well, actually all of the 'Blackbirdians' are pretty amazing. I have never been assisted by anyone I didn't like. I think my morning table is always very welcoming. Jack Hines, Jesse Harper, Mitch Peters, and Bryan Truitt are always a site for sore eyes," Jenny Craig said. "I would love to talk to a few people that I see in there often. I am not a shy person so I usually talk to everyone I find interesting, but there is a firefighter that frequents in the morning that I have often thought of stopping and just saying thank you for all he does."


"Most every person I have met at Blackbird warms my heart - I go there for the good and I love being there because of the people. The people that work there set the tone for the place - genuine, nice, welcoming, and diverse. Every time I go there I am going to learn or feel something, and the food happens to be awesome," Chris Mahlmann said. "I do many of my interviews at Blackbird because it allows real people to be real - and I like to get to know what they are really like so the setting sets the tone. I would love to interview the Pope, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and my mom at Blackbird over a cup of coffee if I had a wish list."

"My favorite Blackbird employee is my friend Rachel. I've known Rachel since our freshmen year of college at Valparaiso University and she hasn't changed one bit! She's extremely nice and such a hard worker. She is a positive addition to the Blackbird Cafe family," Vincent Edwards said. "Though I don't really go Blackbird often I'd love to spend more time with some of the people who work there like Rachel, Cara, Justin, or Alex."

"I'm always happy to say hello to the Blackbird staff, they always say hello and greet me with a smile," Maureen Davey said. "I always love catching up with Darlene Cohn, and I would love to pick her brain about writing and life in general; I know she has tons of wisdom to share."


"Whenever I walk in I hope to see Darlene Cohn. She's always got her laptop, cup of coffee, and a smile on her face. She, along with the Blackbird staff always make me feel welcome," Caitlin Vanlaningham (me) said. "And if I could have a sit down with anyone it would be with a group of gentlemen that I see whenever I go in before work during the week. They seem so animated and interesting."

"Blackbird Cafe is a special place in Valpo. Not only can I get a cup of high quality coffee there, Blackbird also gives me the chance to catch up with friends from high school. I've known Alex and Stevie, a newlywed couple, since I was sixteen, and my excitement from seeing them never dwindles. Whether it's talking comics with Stevie or being happily greeted with a smile and a coffee by Alex, these two always make my day a little better," Cody Morse said.

"I love going into Blackbird. It's by far my favorite spot to get some coffee in town," Brett Fuller said. "My wife and I always joke that when we have the Blackbird coffee - really any of the brews there - we're wired and ready to get stuff done. They're all great."