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Every town in the United States, big or small, has its little quirks. Whether it is a natural formation, local shop, or overall energy, these are the things that make the world unique. If we only had chain stores and restaurants, what would make people want to explore the Earth? The key to keeping people connected in small towns is finding these unique characteristics and embracing them. Just as every person is unique, so is every town. One cool quirk in downtown Johnstown is the Flood City Café.

When first entering the cafe, you immediately feel a positive, happy energy. Everything –from the employees, the lighting, the smell of fresh coffee, and the relaxed couches — gives the Flood City Café an overall cozy feel. It is like your average coffee shop but more personal with several custom drinks. (If you get to this local café, I recommend the Chanel. It isn’t on the menu, but they will gladly make it for you. It is a latte with honey steamed in the milk.) Relax at a table or chair while you wait, enjoying some of the provided reading materials. When the baristas handcraft your beverage, they will bring it to your table — an unexpected change to the usual swarm of people around a pick-up station waiting to grab their drink and run.

Remember, when you shop locally, your money stays in the community and supports the business owners who live here. This applies to other local coffee shops, restaurants, retail shops, and more. Not sure of the local hotspots in your neighborhood? Well, what is stopping you from going out and finding them? Chances are, there is a cool, semi-unheard-of-spot in your area. I challenge anyone reading this to really explore your hometown, and don’t stop searching until you find somewhere you have never been. There is a whole world out there for you to explore, so re-energize yourself and find something you love!

— Mikella Buncich, CFA Youth Philanthropy Intern

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