Coloring for a Cause

12654627_10153898260899837_3784418815052235396_nARE WE NOT LIKE TWO VOLUMES OF ONE BOOK?  The Raven Cafe has partnered with Literacy and Beyond to help their vision.

Literacy and Beyond is an organization focused on improving the reading skills and educational outcomes of at-risk children and their families whilst addressing the non-academic barriers that hinder their success.

This organization gives away over 7,500 books EVERY YEAR to students in the Port Huron area who are working hard to improve their reading skills. (WOW! Talk about improving the community!)

Showing your support of Literacy and Beyond’s mission is as easy as 1, 2,3!

  1. Take a blank bookmark from one of the mugs throughout our cafe.
  2. Draw, color, doodle, or write inspirational messages. Whatever your creative mind can muster!
  3. When you are done simply put your finished art back into the mug.
    The bookmarks are collected and distributed to local students by Literacy and Beyond.

This is truly a match made in heaven for us here at the Raven Cafe, and we look forward to the support and art that our patrons provide!

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Times Herald Coloring Contest

elfFeatured in December 13th’s edition of the Times Herald was a coloring contest for adults and children. It seems adult coloring books are all the rage this year, and why not? Making art soothes the soul!

In the fine print you may have noticed I was responsible for the illustration of the elf sipping a peppermint mocha. Regular patrons may have recognized the little guy as he was modeled after my little elf, Judah!

The Times Herald was kind enough to offer me the entries and it was amazing to see the many interpretations of my drawing. As a child I loved coloring contests- participating and just looking at all the submissions. So, upon review, Kira, our media specialist, be posting them in the downstairs hallway for folks to peruse from this evening until January 21.

Come visit us, check them out and while you’re at it, I recommend the peppermint mocha.

P.S. Winners posted at

Celebrating Everyday Heroes

12308802_10206885673613449_6299507546005025208_n (1)In my humble opinion, I feel like American society celebrates all the wrong people. The disparity in compensation between actors, sports personalities and real heroes like teachers, nurses and military personnel is positively disgusting to me.
This holiday season, the Raven will be utilizing our “Shared Drinks Board” above the stairs as a way to gift non-alcoholic drinks to our local everyday heroes. I have nine gift certificates for various individuals in various professions that I find heroic.
If you like this idea you can join in on the giving: purchase a drink for a specific person or a general someone who does work that you find heroic.
9 certificates to start (hopefully other patrons will add more), while supplies last, first come, first serve.

Progressive Accommodations for Dads

A new family-friendly addition to the Raven Cafe has finally arrived! If you have a little one presently (or one on the way) you’ll be as excited as me.

4a3b9f81-f8e6-49d3-922e-5a5e46912278Here’s the plight of mothers these days: you’re out to dinner with your husband, and the wee one needs a diaper change. In this modern day many fathers are taking a hands-on approach when it comes to parenting, and if yours is one of the good ones (like mine) he’ll offer to change the baby while you sip your coffee. He walks off only to return with still-soiled baby because, like many public establishments, there is no changing station in the men’s room. It gets trickier and even more inconvenient in a scenario with two male parents.

In the interest of being progressive, the Raven has finally installed a baby changing station in our unisex restroom (the one on the ground level). Now mothers can take that much-needed moment and drink their tasty beverage while dad cleans up the doodie! We hope to lead by example and encourage other businesses to accommodate awesome fathers (we know at least Casey’s Pizza caters to daddy diaper duty). If you’d like to join the revolution, consider sending a letter to the Times Herald’s Talk Back. Wouldn’t it be great if all downtown Port Huron restaurants got on this bandwagon? It could be another awesome perk that sets us apart from the big box chain restaurants.

Drowning in Digital Poe

It’s a quiet week in the news department at the Raven so I thought I’d share something Poe-related. As the proprietor, I feel obligated to be well versed in Poe’s works (one must understand the product to market it well, after all). The works that I am familiar with I haven’t read since high school, but in today’s digital age I found a couple of great media vehicles to get my Poe on.

opencutltureAs the mother of a busy 3-year old I rarely get time to sit down with a good book. Even though we have an entire section devoted to Edgar Allan Poe at the Raven, I don’t have the leisure time to peruse it. These days I’m a big fan of audio books so I can multitask. I listen to them in the car, while getting ready in the morning, working, cleaning… you get the idea. Poe’s works are public domain, so a website called Open Culture whose mission it is to create a centralized source for high quality cultural and educational media has made his works available to anyone at no charge.

poeapp2Being a visual learner, I also recently purchased the Poe app collection by iClassics, who specialize in combining classic literature with interactive art and cutting edge technologies. Thus far I’ve consumed the Tell-Tale Heart, The Oval Portrait, Hop Frog, Annabel Lee and, of course, The Raven. It’s creepy, interactive, illustrative and just plain engaging. I highly recommend it and, in addition to Poe’s works, they have Charles Dickens and H.P. Lovecraft (Sadaat approves the latter).

Making Strides with the Raven Mavens

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The Raven Café has joined forces with Making Strides in an effort to one day say “NEVERMORE” to breast cancer.

We lost our dear friend and wonderful morning barista Brenda Brabant to the disease two years ago. We are selling t-shirts that feature her initials and those of others who’ve battled the big ‘C’. One our wonderfully talented staff members, Carol Mason, has made earrings and is donating all proceeds from the sale of these to the cause. We are also accepting donations to the to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides” fundraiser. Our goal is $1,000 this year. Please help us by donating!

The Making Strides Walk will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, October 10, 2015 at the St. Clair County Community College campus.

All Things Pumpkin Related

pumpkinpatchIt’s pumpkin season! We love harvest time here at the Raven and offer many pumpkin-infused and Autumn inspired treats:

BEERS: Pumpkincrusha by Shorts Brewery & Octorock Hard Cider by Starcut Ciders
CRAFT COCKTAILS: Bees in a Barrel, Old Thyme Sour, Doc McToddy, Salted Caramel Hot Cider
SOUP: Pumpkin with Roasted Apple & Bacon
LATTE: Pumpkin Spice
OTHER BEVERAGES: Hot Cider & Hot Cider Supreme
SMOOTHIE: Pumpkin Pie Chiller
DESSERT: Coming Soon!

Autumn Art Hop

untitledOn Friday, October 16th, from 6-9PM art lovers will be strolling downtown for the Autumn Art Hop, put on by Main Street Port Huron. The Raven will not only be participating, but featuring talented staff members Kristen DeWitte and Samantha Damon.

Kristen plays with many mediums, making keepsake boxes, decorated jars, creating paintings featuring famed icons and much, much more.

Samantha does photography and creates candles decoupaged with old headlines that make great conversation pieces and Halloween decorations.

The Art Hop includes many Downtown businesses that feature an artist or two for the evening. Many locations serve complimentary refreshments to boot.

Featured on Awesome Mitten Blog

IMG_5794-1400x480@2xThe Raven Café was featured recently on Awesome Mitten’s blog that featured “4 Michigan Drives to Make the Most of Fall”. The Raven was mentioned as a necessary stop for hot beverages whilst travelling the Highway M-25: Lexington to Caseville route.

Awesome Mitten strives to discover and uncover “awesome” events, businesses, music, people, places, products – anything that the Great Lakes State has to offer!

Nevermore Book Sale

nevermorebooksaleThe thought of throwing books away is blasphemous to literature-lovers such as we. Even when they are old, tattered and written about stuffy subjects, I can’t stand the thought of trashing them. Someone, somewhere might want them and love them.

That being said, I’m also not a fan of clutter, so I devised a way to get my orphaned books in the hands of new parents. I’ve erected a book case by our back door where patrons can purchase used hardcovers for $1.00 and paperbacks for 50¢. Just grab what you’d like and take it upstairs and a server can ring you up or add it to your bill. Additionally, there is a “free bin” for books that are irreparably damaged. They make great craft fodder.
Proceeds from the book sale will be used to purchase new books for the library. Book sale prices only apply to items stamped “NEVERMORE.”

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