You don’t have to go far from campus if you’re looking for a jolt of caffeine in your favorite coffee.
In Oshkosh’s downtown area, students can find multiple coffee shops to choose from.
While the Elsewhere Coffee House and Market at 531 N. Main St., is the newest addition, having opened in 2021, Planet Perk in City Center, New Moon Cafe at 401 N. Main St. and Caramel Crisp and Cafe at 200 City Center have been around for years or even decades.
Ken Osmond, Planet Perk’s owner who calls himself the “chief cook and bottle washer,” was inspired to start the business, originally with just one location, for many reasons. But the main reason was to provide a safe environment for everyone who is a part of the community and to provide them a place to meet, converse and enjoy life.
“Early in the morning is when many of our homeless population makes their way to Planet Perk…They avail themselves of the Pay-It-Forward board to get a hot drink or a meal or both,” Osmond said.
But other people come to Planet Perk for various reasons, such as students coming to study downtown.
“People have business meetings, meet friends for breakfast and lunch, study, catch up on Netflix, plan their weddings and hang out with our staff,” he said.
As for what is available to those who patronize the coffee shop, Osmond makes the decision.
“We serve all of the things I like basically. However, the shop was designed to accommodate everyone,” he said, “Our vendors are chosen because of their ethical and environmental practices.”
One of his other goals when first starting the business was “to prove that a business could be run to be socially conscious, a strong community member and environmentally sustainable.”
Along with that, Osmond also looks toward local vendors from the area to source his products.
“We also do as much business as we can with independent local and regional businesses. I like to know if I can talk to the owner of any business,” Osmond said.
Along with Planet Perk, Elsewhere Market and Coffee House resides on Main Street.
Jessie Tadder, managing director of the Elsewhere Collection, said their coffee house saw a lot of business this summer, particularly with the farmers market, EAA, weddings, etc.
As summer turns to fall, Tadder anticipates things will quiet down more.
“We think with cold weather coming, things will settle a little,” Tadder said. “We are stoked to see all the new faces that UW-Oshkosh brings.”
Coffee shops are a common place to find students studying throughout the school year, and Tadder finds students often studying throughout the year.
“Our orange couches have become somewhat of a signature spot for studying,” Tadder said.
Throughout the summer, there were many drinks that were introduced to Elsewhere.
“We introduced our lavender lemonade this summer, which is sincerely addicting,” she said. “But my favorite has to be the Thai iced coffee. I love the uniqueness of the cardamom and just the right amount of sweetness.”
Elsewhere has a wide variety of drinks, from iced to hot, with a variety of flavors.
Whether looking for a spot to study or maybe just relax and take a break from classes, there are many coffee shops downtown to enjoy.
For those looking for a coffee fix on campus, Titan Underground (TUG) is introducing a coffee program.
For $50 a semester, students can join TUG MUG Club, allowing members to drink as much coffee as they would like.
Students can bring in their own mug and have it stored and cleaned in TUG for them to use and drink fresh coffee out of.
Students can pay using cash, credit/debit, Titan Dollars, and UWO gift cards when they bring in their first mug.