New T-Shirt Colors in for Summer!

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Tultex Unisex T – 65% polyester/35% ring-spun, USA cotton blend. Stretchy and light – great for summer.

Not local to the Port Huron area or don’t see your size in our gift corner? Check out our CafePress! We have styles, colors, sizes and items we don’t carry in-house available for purchase!

Librarian’s View: Photo Album Magic

b4208cae-5781-45c8-8e60-eeb3abcb0e6dRecently when I came into work and saw a beat-up box with a note saying “scrapbook coming soon for these”, I couldn’t help but take some time to look at what was inside. In the box were pictures and post cards either from Michigan or being sent to Michigan. I couldn’t contain my excitement looking through the large pile knowing that I would to be the first to see them, read their messages and have the privilege to assemble them into a book.
The photo album cover says “Life Is Meant to be Shared” and the cards fit perfectly in it. Between the old, yet elegant, pictures ranging from portraits to ships to scenery, I became nostalgic for bygone times, and I have no doubt that our patrons will feel the same. The pictures are simply breathtaking! One that caught my immediate attention was of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. What a sight! Every man was wearing a suit and the women were decked out in elegant dresses. The greenery stood tall and proud as if it were straight out of a Robert Frost poem.
I can’t wait to add this to the library and see the impact it has on the Raven’s customers. It will be kept on the shelf for over-sized books located on the upper level balcony. I would love to see our patrons scroll through these magical pages and find that the pictures tickle their insides as they did mine.
Plus, there are about twelve postcards of kittens, from the Port Huron area nonetheless. Honestly, who could resist that?!
~Kira J.
P.S. Postcards were donated to us by the Salvation Army located at 729 Howard St., Port Huron, Michigan.

Librarian’s View: Literacy and Beyond Bookmarks

b4208cae-5781-45c8-8e60-eeb3abcb0e6dThere are many fulfilling moments that happen when you are a librarian and the partnership The Raven is doing with Literacy and Beyond has become my favorite…so far.
The participation astounded me in itself, not even a month in and we had over 70 completed book marks! All unique in their own way and I couldn’t help but to snap a picture of them together and post it to my personal Instagram account. To have a community that is so involved with positive change gives myself and so many others such strong hope for the future. Just the fact that many of The Raven’s patrons cared enough to decorate a little bookmark fills
me with great joy.
For those who do not know, all of the completed bookmarks go to children that are working hard to increase their literacy. The bookmarks serve as a reminder that their efforts are supported and that they have people that believe in them.
The mugs of blank bookmarks are still scattered around the upstairs portion of the café and are being refilled as needed. If you have a love for literature, this is a phenomenal way to spread it. Please, do come in and create influential art for an aspiring book worm!
~Kira J.

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

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).

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.”

Shameless Bribery to Get Your E-mail Address

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WINTER IS COMING! Join our e-mail list and be entered to win this cozy Raven’s Brew hoodie. I send one missive a week and only feature news I personally would be interested in.

Drawing to be held December 13, 2015.

Halloween Enthusiasts Unite

I am a Halloween nut. I think the Raven is the perfect venue for Halloween fun, but I need help from fellow Halloween enthusiasts.

The prices of chintzy decorations that rarely last more than a year don’t appeal to me. I want something more authentic and durable. Being artistically inclined, I’m game to create decorations, but I need suggestions.
The best idea generator I’ve found is good ol’ Pinterest, so please share ideas with me. Let’s make this coming Halloween one that folks won’t soon forget at the Raven Café!