• Metropolitan Coffee barista Celestia Favela prepares a Warm Autumn Chai at the Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere on Monday.

  • The Ground Control Coffee Shop is inside the Cosmosphere and offers up a variety of hot and cold drinks prepared by employees from Metropolitan Coffee.

  • The Ground Control Coffee Shop is located inside the Cosmosphere Cafe.

  • Metropolitan Coffee barista Celestia Favela prepares a Warm Autumn Chai at the Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere on Monday.

  • The Ground Control Coffee Shop is located inside the Cosmosphere Cafe.

  • A sign complete with the shop logo and the words "we are go for coffee" hangs on the wall at the Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

  • Metropolitan Coffee barista Celestia Favela prepares a Warm Autumn Chai at the Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

  • A menu of hot and cold drinks hangs on the wall at the Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Ready, set, Joe: Coffee shop inside Cosmosphere has community, HCC students in mind

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Cosmosphere has opened a pop-up coffee shop, powered by Metropolitan Coffee, in an effort to create a sense of community and offer a place for Hutchinson Community College students to study for finals.

Ground Control Coffee Shop inside the Cosmosphere Cafe has a creative logo that says "We are go for coffee," and a coffee cup blasting off like a rocket.

The shop came to fruition after those attending the Hutchinson Community Foundation's Spaces to Places events mentioned that residents in the College Grove Neighborhood wanted a gathering place to drink coffee and the one at HCC had closed down.

"It was really fun to think about what we could do to create more sense of community here," said Mimi Meredith, Cosmosphere vice president of development.

The partnership with Metropolitan Coffee was already formed after Metro served guests at the coffeehouse venue during the Cosmosphere's Everything Under the Stars Gala in late August.

A little over a week ago, Cosmosphere staff asked Myra and Jim Kitson, who own Metropolitan Coffee, if they'd be interested in testing a coffee shop at the museum. Immediately they were interested.

Myra said she'd love to see more common spaces created in the community where people can converse in a non-threatening environment.

"Coffee shops can do that," she said. "We are really passionate about creating safe spaces and community spaces for people."

Celestia Favela, a barista, said in the first few hours it was open, less than a dozen people came by.

"The Cosmosphere staff is thrilled. So far, all morning long we were the first and only customers," Meredith said around 2 p.m. "Staff alone can't make it work; it has to mean something to the community."

10 things you need to know about the coffee shop

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  • The coffee shop is open during the trial run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday until Dec. 9 at Cosmosphere Cafe inside the Cosmosphere, 1100 N. Plum St. Customers can come in through the Cosmosphere's front entrance, through the hallway connecting the Cosmosphere and HCC, or on the west side of the museum off of Plum Street.
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  • The remote espresso bar offers everything that's at its main location, except pastries, blended coffees or loose-leaf teas. Standard flavors like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, cinnamon, chocolate, toasted marshmallow, peppermint, English toffee and pumpkin are also available to spice up your favorite cup of Joe.
  • The Cosmosphere brought in Wi-Fi to attract customers – particularly ones who are studying for next week's finals. The password is "rental." There's also free soda and popcorn refills at the concessions.
  • Michele McCartney, Cosmosphere creative design manager, made the blue logo, which was inspired by something Bob Colladay mentioned while announcing the gala's coffeehouse venue in August. Staff have been waiting to use the name "Ground Control Coffee Shop" ever since.
  • The coffee shop brews without running water by working off of pumps and water bottles. "It's a really cool remote setup," said Myra Kitson, who added the Cosmosphere just last week wired the area with 20-amp circuits for the two coffee machines.
  • A few best-sellers are the warm autumn chai, pumpkin latte, peppermint mocha and a straight expresso shot for those who need it most.
  • The Cosmosphere's wine cooler is being repurposed as the shop's own portable ice chest for milk and whip cream.
  • You'll be greeted with the same familiar faces that serve you at the main location, 17th and Lorraine.
  • Cash or card is accepted.
  • If all goes well during the trial run, the coffee shop may be back during next semester's finals.