Newly opened coffee shop serves java, snacks and meals


Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Chin

Free Press Coffee House’s chalkboard menu

Sean Blackwell, Staff Writer

An independently owned coffee shop near the UIS campus hopes to attract the Springfield community through the appeal of its full espresso menu, “a.m./p.m. eats,” knowledgeable and engaging baristas, competitive prices, and desire to engage the local community and support other small businesses in the area.

Located on Toronto Road, just a four-minute drive southwest of the UIS campus, Free Press Coffee House of Springfield first opened its doors on Feb. 3, 2017.

Free Press Coffee House sees itself on the cutting edge of coffee, able to serve customers the best coffees in a comfortable setting at a competitive price.

“We offer coffees from roasters that are on the cusp of everything current in coffee, and we are so fortunate to learn from them and therefore offer the best possible product,” wrote Jane Ann Petty, owner of Free Press Coffee House.

Included on the menu are “coffee, tea, real fruit smoothies, blended and iced options, along with sweet and savory treats in the form of bagels, muffins, assorted pastries, and a full AM/PM sandwich menu,” reported the company’s website,

“All of our coffees are fair-trade and some are organic. Similarly, our food is freshly made, with ingredients that [are] either organic or have a low ingredient list. We bake all of our pastries in house, from scratch. All of this and we remain quite competitive with our prices,” wrote Petty.

Free Press Coffee House believes it distinguishes itself from the franchise coffee shops by offering its customers a high-quality coffee coupled with a good experience.

“We’re not a chain. … We’re not a franchise. Our focus is on serving good coffee, and making sure we have a good coffee experience,” said Robbie DeVries, the lead barista at the Springfield location. “So, it’s not just about business, it’s also about providing a good experience.”

Free Press Coffee House not only serves a full espresso menu, it also tries to give back to the community by organizing local events, volunteering its space/equipment for good causes, and supporting other small businesses in the area.

Throughout the Springfield coffee shop, one will find both the handiwork and artwork of local artists.

“We also support local [craftsmen] … who built three of our tables. We have a local artist’s work for sale on the wall. We offer t-shirts designed by another local artist and will soon expand our retail to include handmade soaps, jewelry, and other fun gift items,” wrote Petty.

Free Press Coffee House has locations in Pittsfield, Mount Sterling, and Springfield, all in Illinois.

Its doors are open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

For more information about Free Press Coffee House, one can visit the company’s website at