WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | LIVE OAK COFFEEHOUSE
Live Oak Coffeehouse in Midland is the newest addition to a collection of community-based businesses in the Ashman Plaza. The 16,000-square-foot building is home to a wide-ranging collection of small local businesses that rely on each other and work together to cultivate their businesses.
Renee and Aaron Deckrow, owners of The Ashman Loft, Captured Photography, Captured Community, and Captured Studios, all located in Ashman Plaza, knew they wanted a “next step,” something to connect everyone who visits Ashman Plaza. They sought to offer something more to their customers, and great coffee and good food seemed a natural addition, along with a place for friends and business colleagues alike to gather. The Live Oak Coffeehouse has become just the place for connection, collaboration, and inspiration.
Live Oak is managed by Daniel Terhune, the culinary artist behind the delectable house-made syrups you will find there. The Deckrows credit Terhune with the success of Live Oak. He manages about ten baristas who are always at the ready to serve up the ultimate in coffees and teas. The always-fresh roasted coffee comes from a local roaster, Heirloom Coffee Roasters. Two popular drinks are the Vanilla Latte and the amazing Cortado. But, over and above all others, the Pour Overs are what Live Oak has become known for. A Pour Over is coffee made by slowly pouring hot water over the grounds to get an extremely rich and generous flavor. It takes more time, but it’s so worth it. The baristas love to use this as a way to encourage people to slow down and take a moment to savor the remarkable flavor.
Live Oak has a delightful variety of loose leaf teas from Spirit Tea and Harney and Sons that you steep right at your table. White, green, black, matcha, herbal infusions, and oolong enable you to choose something different on each visit. Tea lovers will not be disappointed.
Recently added to the menu are Cultured Ferments on tap. Cultured Ferments are Kombucha, a fermented tea known for its astounding health benefits because it’s a probiotic. Current flavors on tap are Apple and Namaste Nectar. Live Oak guests have responded well to the new addition and are truly enjoying the flavors.
Pastry chef Kelsi Cronkright is, in Renee’s words, “a remarkably talented chef.” Chef Kelsi has developed mouthwatering recipes for cookies and pastries, but the number-one love for many customers is the No Nonsense Bar. Renee describes it as a kind of soft granola bar that is made fresh daily and sells out quickly. Live Oak is proud to be a corn syrup-free kitchen.
Take your tasty treats to the adjoining Captured Community Room — affectionately called the Makers Room — for a quiet place to work, collaborate, and create. Work on anything you choose, from business plans to artwork and craft projects.
The Deckrows are quick to point out that Live Oak and the entire community of businesses in the Ashton Plaza are proud to hold each other up and work together as a team. She likes to describe it as a great big house with so many different things going on – something for everyone.
Live Oak Coffeehouse 711 Ashman, Midland MI 48640 l (989) 832-7537 | LiveOakCoffeehouse.com