Toast Pop Travels: Blue Moon Café

Shepherdstown, West Virginia is the oldest town in the state, but a blended atmosphere of home-grown, country, and contemporary combine with its antiquity to make it a wonderful place! There is just as much of a unique atmosphere at its Blue Moon Café. Much of the dining area is furnished outside among a shady green oasis that even includes a fountain. The menu is an affordable variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, pizza, and a little crab. They have many vegan and vegetarian options, along with several alcoholic beverages. Blue Moon is locally sourced, meaning many of their products were grown or made right in the region. Local entertainment can even be found here at their open mic nights.

Blue Moon Café gets my “Toast Pop Approval” for its support of local agriculture, food quality, meal price, and unique dining experience outdoors! Its well-worth the walk from anywhere in the heart of town.

Plan your visit to Shepherdstown and the Blue Moon Café!

Blue Moon Café homepage: http://bluemooncafeshepherdstown.com/dining/

View the menu, get directions, and get to know their local sources

Blue Moon Café Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bluemoonwv/timeline

Get updates on specials and performances

Shepherdstown Visitors Center: http://shepherdstown.info/

Learn the history, find out about local events, plan a stay, and more!

Toast Pop Travels: Hinton and the Chestnut Revival

Get the “wild and wonderful” experiences of West Virginia in the most authentic ways possible by paying a visit to Hinton, West Virginia! Hinton is a small town tucked away in the eastern hills of the Mountain State and has a rooted successful lineage in being a former railroad town. Hinton is about twenty-eight miles from Beckley, but close to its history with museums dedicated to the railroad industry and the Civil War. Hinton is also not far from state parks Pipestem and Bluestone and the New River Gorge. No place could be any closer to natural beauty and history than Hinton.

There is perhaps no other place in Hinton that can make you feel more comfortable in the mountains than the Chestnut Revival: a homey, bed-and-breakfast and coffee shop on Summers Street. Reviews on TripAdvisor.com rank Chestnut Revival only second to The Market on Courthouse Square, but critics have ranked it the best for its cozy atmosphere, food quality, and friendly service. And this place is definitely a “ToastPop approved” attraction as both editors have been there and loved it! It is everything a coffee shop should be and more! One can easily relax and enjoy themselves in their dining area while consuming home-cooked tea, coffee, and other delicious treats! Most Friday nights are open mic nights featuring local talent and there is fun to be had on most holidays. There is no place like home, but Hinton and the Chestnut Revival could most certainly be your home away from home while you experience all the “wild and wonderful” West Virginia has to offer!

Plan your visit to Hinton and the Chestnut Revival!

Find business hours, book a stay, find local attractions

Chestnut Revival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chestnut-Revival/107441515982616?id=107441515982616&sk=photos_stream

Chestnut Revival menu: http://www.chestnutrevival.com/menu.html

They serve breakfast and lunch all day, and offer healthy and organic options 

The city of Hinton website: http://hintonwva.com/

Get information on the history, local life, and events 

Over Coffee

For many, like myself, a cup of coffee is a major part of the daily routine. The question is, what makes it such a vital part of our daily lives? The answer is clear to those of us who have a passion for this caffeine filled drink. To me coffee is about relaxing and enjoying a warm cup of peace and thought. I do a lot of thinking when I drink my coffee, mostly due to the fact that it greatly relaxes me and helps me de-stress. The best memories that I have from drinking coffee are when I have been drinking coffee with others who are doing the same thing. It is an entire experience for everyone in the room to have a cup of their favorite coffee and to just talk.

One website by the name of Over Coffee creates that experience on the internet! We’ve herd of social networks, but never a social network specifically made with the coffee lover in mind. I myself have made an account and have begun to enjoy all that the website has to offer. You have the option to add friends, share pictures of your favorite coffees, tell stories related to coffee, and many other things. The great part about the website is that it is always updated with information on the best coffee shops, coffee products, and news on coffee.

It does not stop there, if you add their twitter @MeetOverCoffee they are more than happy to discuss coffee with you even by way of tweet! The experience of coffee does not have to end after your visit to the local coffee shop or after drinking the last sip of coffee from your favorite mug, Over-Coffee.com is the one place online where the love of coffee is 24/7! I encourage everyone who likes coffee to check out the website and make an account, it’s as simple as connecting with your Facebook account to create an account, and the enjoyment that you get from coffee never has to end!

SMMile Photography

Stephanie Michelle Muncy, started her own photography business “SMMile Photography” just earlier this year, and all ready is having success. Muncy runs and operates SMMile Photography by herself, without assistance for the most part. She does at times have an assistant at photo shoots however.

Muncy stated that she offers her clients multiple options, “Packages vary. I usually make a flash drive of all images and give a release form for a set price but other packages vary. My prints range from 1$-10$.”

It was Muncy’s love of photography that led to her starting SMMile Photography,“It started out just being a stamp I put on my photos so people couldn’t steal them and slowly grew into more. People started asking me to take pictures for them. So then it became my name. Then as I got more and more jobs, I turned it into my logo.”

When asked about who some of her clients have been thus far, Muncy replied, “War Torn Angel, a local band, will always be one of my favorite clients, they are some very talented musicians and i love traveling with them to shows. They were one of the first to ever hire me. I love them to death and thank them for supporting me and helping me get to where I am now. Also I’ve had many seniors in high school, along with couples and children from the area. It started out with friends and family then progressed much further.”

Within the next five years, Muncy hopes that SMMile Photography will grow, and that she will possibly have a studio. She takes great pride in the quality and affordability of her photography. She feels as though everyone should be able to capture a special moment in time, and she loves being the person responsible for helping them preserve that moment. Muncy said, “I am very blessed to be doing what I love. If you need pictures just look me up on Facebook.” You can do so by checking out the SMMile Photography Facebook page!

The RiffRaff

Open Mic at The RiffRaff, an Art Collective located at 865 Mercer St. in Princeton, WV, is an “artistic haven” according to Lori McKinney-Blankenship, where artistic talents of all types are welcomed, encouraged and respected.

Lori McKinney-Blankenship, along with the help of her husband Robert Blankenship opened The RiffRaff in 2006, making it a mere five years old, with the goal of giving back to the community, in an artistic way.

McKinney-Blankenship responded, “I grew up here, this is my hometown. I went away, studied theatre, and spent a summer abroad in London. The way the culture was shaped by the arts really affected me” when asked about what had motivated her to start The RiffRaff. She continued by saying “The fact that the community had access to art was something I recognized to be very valuable. After graduation, I searched for artists to work with, and hit the jackpot with creative collaborators. We wanted to make a difference in our community.”

Their desire to make a difference in their community was the building block to The Riff Raff. At open mic night, people are encouraged to make their way towards the stage, and to share their artistic talents with people who help form a supportive and welcoming group of people. All types of art are welcomed at The Riff Raff, according to McKinney-Blankenship, “Visual, literary, performing, healing, and theatrical. All types of creativity are welcome.”

The RiffRaff supplies people with a place to communicate with people whom they share things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship stated, “We’ve seen tons of young artists come in. Their creative lives are shaped by it. Waves of artists come at a time. It’s like eras of time. It’s always exciting,” she went on to say that “a few have really made it their identity, and taken advantage of the opportunities. Our door is open for you to make it your own.”

What falls under the category of making The RiffRaff your own? Well, at The RiffRaff, you are encouraged to share your art with other people. Diversities of art are welcome, encouraged and respected at The RiffRaff.

If you’re interested in starting or being in a band, The RiffRaff is a great place to meet people. McKinney-Blankenship said, “If you want to find a band, come to open mic. You’ll find musicians to perform with. Once you’re ready to record music, talk to us and we’ll get you started” when asked about how people could go about starting a band, and recording their music at the recording studio at The RiffRaff.

The RiffRaff gives people the opportunity to meet other artists, and to make friends with whom they have things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship said that “If you’re an artist or really creative person, and you’ve been looking for people to relate to, be friends with, you’ll find them here.”

For more information on The RiffRaff visit their website at theriffraff.net!