Trevor and Christina Leach met when they were teenagers growing up in upstate New York.
“We both loved music and coffee and would travel into the city to perform at local coffee shops,” Trevor said.
As they sat and talked — sometimes for hours — following performances, their love percolated, all the while sipping lattes and frappachinos.
They married in 2013 and moved to Illinois to attend Greenville College, a Methodist school.
“I grew up Free Methodist, and my dad is a pastor,” Trevor said. “So moving to Greenville was a logical next step.”
After having already attended three years of higher learning in New York, they attended GC for about a year, but decided that college life was no longer for them.
They moved to Highland and brewed up an idea — they would turn their passion for coffee into a business. Nudge Coffee Roasters opened at 1100 Broadway in Highland (next to Schuette’s Market) six months ago, focusing on freshly brewed, fair-trade java.
And the town has been drinking it up. The Leaches have already hired two employees and plan on hiring two more this summer to keep up with the crowds. On average, Nudge, which opened Nov. 9, has about 80 customers a day, the majority of which are regulars, according to Trevor.
“I like the coffee and their favorites. It’s so relaxing here,” said Lori Stocker, a frequent customer. “It’s a perfect way to start the day.”
Each batch of coffee is brewed within a few days of being roasted, ensuring customers get the freshest, and most delicious, product. But fair trade coffee is their real focus.
“By purchasing fair-trade coffee, we ensure workers in other countries get fair wages. There is a lot of borderline slave labor in the coffee industry,” Trevor said. “We don’t want to be a part of that. Using fair trade allows us to be a part of a community, even though we might not be physically present.”
They may not be physically present in communities across the world, but their presence is certainly known in Highland.
“Our goal is to create community. That’s our desire,” Trevor said. “We are open for anyone and everyone.”
They have an open mic night and bands perform on Fridays. They are trying to get booking readings started, too.
And, who knows, maybe their shop can help to coax another love story like their own.
“We are all about living a positive life and letting that light shine through gentle nudges,” Trevor said.
Nudge coffee at a glance
Location: 1100 Broadway in Highland, next to Schuette’s Market
Owners: Trevor and Christina Leach
Phone: (618) 623-7101
Hours: Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.