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Hey Evanston!

Hey Evanston!  Come and visit the Unicorn.  There are seats open and waiting for you.  The nu kiddies have spread their wings and are dispersed all over the world leaving a chair for YOU to sit and enjoy a cupcake, coffee, soup, pie or whatever Unicorn treat your heart desires.  See you soon!

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Good Morning to All!!

The Unicorn is one of Evanston’s favorite places to relax, read, write and enjoy a cup of coffee.  Located a few blocks from Northwestern University, the Unicorn houses an excellent mix of locals and students.  Come enjoy some Alterra coffee, a wide selection of loose leaf teas, morning pastries that we bake in-house, delicious paninis and our famous, super fresh vegan soup.  We also have free wi-fi, so stay awhile.

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Valentine’s Day Specials <3

Whether you love Valentine’s day or think “F*** cupid, this day is a waste of time”, The Unicorn has some special things in store for you – because we love you and love.

We will be featuring Alterra’s Supreme Love roast which is a blend of Rwandan and brazil.  Delicious.  Also featured, Honey Bee Latte (for your honey) and a decadent Raspberry Mocha.  Yummy!

From 5pm-7pm there will be the incredible 2 for 1 drink Special! Yay! Even if you don’t have a date you can come take advantage of this deal.  Drinking them both is totally acceptable- You Love YOU!

Our Sweet Perk Deal is for those wearing red.  We will give you a tiny dark chocolate just for donning this color on this special day… sweet, sweet, love.

And… we will have a variety of Valentines for you to take and give to someone special in your day or put in your wallet as a reminder of how much the Unicorn loves you (we really do).

Happy Valentine’s!

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Happy New Year!

2012 is going to be awesome- or the end of the world.  In either case the Unicorn is happy to be in your life.  Here are a few things happening at the café:

The Unicorn has a loyalty app through downtown Evanston.  Go to the app store and download the Downtown Evanston app for free.  Click on food.  It is alphabetical so we’re toward the bottom.  Then you can start your virtual punch card.  After nine visits you get your coffee drink FREE! Hurray!  We also have other deals that change every few weeks.  You can also favorite us.  This is like virtually petting a real live Unicorn.  It is make us both feel good.

On Friday January 27th the Unicorn in conjunction with Alterra coffee (our roaster) is putting on a one hour class about brewing coffee at home.  Have you ever bought freshly roasted beans only to take them home and wonder- why doesn’t it taste as good as in the café?  Those questions as well as others will be answered.  We will of course touch on apocalypse prevention as well.  Hope to see you there!

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Support Small Business Saturday

Support Small Business Day is Saturday, November 26th.  I like this day because it is a reminder that what makes our communities special are the small businesses within it.  Here are some great reasons why you should support the Unicorn and the other fantastic local small businesses in Evanston:

Reinvesting:  More of the money spent at local businesses is reinvested in your community. This helps other local businesses, which creates greater diversity and helps the community maintain its unique appeal. Shopping local is environmentally friendly, too: it creates less traffic and pollution.

Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

Local Decision-Making
Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

Environmental Sustainability
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers—which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

Interesting Stat:  For every $100 spent in local area stores, $68 goes back into the community. For about every $100 dollars spent in a chain store all but $14 dollars flows out of the state destined for far off corporate headquarters and various suppliers.

Hope to see you this Saturday and thanks for supporting the Unicorn!

Sited: www.northshore1049.com

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SweetPerk Loyalty App!!!!

Hey Custies- The Unicorn joined up with Sweetperk to bring you a loyalty app.!  This is very exciting and should be especially celebrated by you regulars who drink a cup of coffee with us every day.  Download this free app at www.sweetperk.com and find the Unicorn.  We are currently offering two deals:

-Buy 10 full price coffee drinks and receive the next one free

– Afternoon Yummie!  Come to the Unicorn between 3-4pm and get a free small drip coffee with the purchase of a cookie or brownie

We’ll be switching up our deals now and again so be sure to check back.  Happy Loyalty Apping!!!!


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We Belong: Love for the Unicorn Community

When I first moved to Evanston from New York City what made me fall in love with the Unicorn was the sense of community and belonging I felt there while sipping my cup of coffee.  It was such juxtaposition from the cold fast pace I had left in New York and it was very cathartic.   As our society relies more and more heavily on social networking and “virtual” contact I find this daily interaction with others even more meaningful.  Last week on my bike ride to work I realized I had a smile on my face and it was because I was thinking of all the people I was going to get to interact with during the day.  Believe it or not, us baristas notice you, hear you and like you (even you difficult ones).  When I am on vacation I often wonder what Joe is up to, or how Gary is doing quitting smoking or if Mocha Bill likes his new job.  I believe it is important for people to feel a sense of community and I am very grateful to the patrons of the Unicorn for providing that.

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Third Places

Yesterday Emily Mitnick revisited the Unicorn.  It was her “third place” while she studied at Northwestern.  She blogged about her experience. Thanks so much for sharing Emily! Check it out at this link. Third Place

Share what is/was your Third Place?  What do you look for in it?


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The Unicorn gets Musical

This weekend we are going to be getting our groove on.  Friday and Saturday night (August 5th and 6th)  from 6:30-8pm you can hear some inspiring live music at the Unicorn.  Friday, Will Compernolle (you’ve had his coffee now hear his music…) will play for us.  Saturday we get jazzy with an improv jazz group.  Hope to see you there!


Why Alterra?

Though our switch to Alterra Coffee may come as quite out of the blue, it is a decision that we here at the Unicorn have been carefully considering for some time. We wanted to let y’all in on just why we are making this change, and why we are so confident in our decision.

1.) It is a true partnership. In the short time that we have been working with Alterra, they have made their commitment to the Unicorn clear. They helped us in the purchasing of our new, beautiful outdoor furniture. They helped us find roasts and blends that fit our tastes. They helped us experiment with pulling their espresso til we got it just to our liking. They gave us a wonderful tour of the roastery so we had a chance to see just where our coffee is coming from.

2.) They are committed to the environment. In the last few months, the Unicorn has made great efforts to be kinder to our community and our environment. We have stopped buying bottled water, begun composting, and made efforts to buy locally when we could. Alterra is able to make these kinds of choices on a much grander scale. Alterra participates in a program called “Energy for Tomorrow” by We Energies that ensures that all of the energy they consume comes from clean, renewable sources, the primary one being wind! They also deliver all of their grounds to vermicomposting bins (composting bins that use live worms to break down waste into compost). So cool!

3. They are committed to bettering local communities. Alterra makes a concerted effort to make sure that a large portion of their profit is directed back into their local community. They partner with local businesses to put on great events. The purchase of certain blends of their coffee directly benefits hunger relief efforts. And while Alterra is headquartered in Milwaukee, they have clearly communicated to us their willingness to improve our very own community in Evanston. Alterra has offered to sell us discounted coffee so that we are able to donate to local events and organizations at a smaller cost to the Unicorn. How great!

4.) They roast delicious coffee and espresso. After an extensive taste test and espresso training, we are confident in their product. Alterra brews strong, bold coffee that fits our taste. After a trip to their roastery, we know just how committed they are to great coffee. Their staff travels to trade conferences, as well as to farms across the world to find the best beans, and they are constantly tinkering with the roasting process to bring out the subtleties of each blend. While some of the roasts are different than the ones you may be used to, we are confident we can find one you like. Want something earthier and nutty? Try the Blue Heeler! Something brighter and fruity? Perhaps the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Check out all their blends here. See one you like? Let us know and we’ll get it for you!

Explore all that they do here.

We know that this is a huge change, and will take some adjusting on all parts. But we believe in our decision, and we are confident that we will still give you the same great Unicorn experience you’ve grown accustomed to.