Every town has that one place where people go to relax, have some sips, and just enjoy spending time with friends. This is Freeport's place.

I wish this wasn't a story of how the covid pandemic dealt a death blow to another business, but that would be accurate.

Higher Grounds Specialty Coffee & Tea in Freeport is closing

Cynthia Faulkner realized a dream 17 years ago. A dream that I share, too. Cynthia started a business. Many of us have a dream to one day start our own business. She took her passion and turned it into Higher Grounds Specialty Coffee & Tea at 1709 S West Ave in 2004.

While you may think selling coffee and tea drinks, pastries and paninis was the motivation, I suspect it was more about building a space that made her community feel special. A place where people came to feel better and maybe start a new friendship.

“17 years is a good run. I feel like I achieved what I set out to do and I was hoping to bring the community something and I hoped that they would appreciate it and I really think that they have. So, that’s really gratifying and really meaningful.”

My wife and I really do share the same dream as Cynthia, and one day we do hope to realize our 'coffee shop dream', but the world has changed in ways that are making it very difficult to keep a small business open.

Higher Grounds last day will be June 26.

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Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and like his page on Facebook.