*Part of - Bean’s Coffee Shop Challenge - series
Holy cow folks! Here’s my first dining review since the world went ahead and changed on us all… Today, I’ll be visiting an adorable local cafe in Jax Beach. And the only difference between this visit and any other dining review I present you with… is the fact that this is my first review since life as we all knew it imploded before all our very eyes.
Yep, we’ve all been thrown for a total loop these last many weeks. And things are only getting stranger and stranger each and every day. And hour by hour. I’m thinking to myself… Maybe we’ve finally gone through the other side of that Black Hole I constantly theorize about. Or - a wormhole?
Or maybe we’ve even been teleported to the edge of the universe.
And then jumped right over into our real and true multiverse?
Either that, or it’s just another day on this - our good buddy - Earth. Yes, Mother Nature is challenging us. And we are at war - with a virus. Either way, as I’ve said since the very beginning and even before that. I’m still going to live my life. I’m going to be alive - when I’m alive. I’m not going to be afraid. And I’m not going to cower.
Don’t get me wrong - I’m still going to be safe. I’m still going to follow the guidelines set forth by our leaders. I’m simply not going to panic…. And I will keep living my life.
Thus, what I mean is - I’m still going to go about my day. My job outside the home is still open. I work at what the government is now deeming an essential business during this crazy crisis. So I HAVE to leave the home. But I’m extremely happy to do it, and I would be doing it anyway. So in a way, I’m still technically living my “normal” life - while surrounded by much un-normalness. And I’m extremely grateful for my job. Even as things change now by the week, by the day, by the hour, and by the minute. Literally.
And during my shift, I am also grateful now more than ever for my lunch break. And each day on my break, I’ve been trying to support an area business to grab some quick food.
I have one hour to patronize a local drive-thru. I have one hour to get a drink of coffee or iced tea or some drive-thru food or take out, or drop-in-your-trunk food. And then get myself back to work, and back to sweating my behind off.
But like I said - I’m still living. So Sunday Morning in America… I start my day. And I checked my social media as I usually do. I happened to see today's muffin specials at The Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry, located @ 115 5th Street South in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
This cafe is the absolute cutest place in town. I’ve been before. But I’ve never been during the Apocalypse...I’ve never been during WW19.
So, I’ll give it a whirl, I thought. And better yet, I’ll go, and then tell you all about it. So that you can also consider giving them a whirl on your next morning looking to support a local business, and when you want a fabulous cappuccino too.
So according to Facebook and Instagram, The Muffinry was currently open and inviting us to come on over and pick up some take-out. While indoor dining is not allowed at any restaurant in the state of Florida right now, lots and lots of restaurants, coffee shops, diners, cafes, etc. are still trying to stay alive. They are trying to keep their operations up and running. But most of all and very importantly, they are trying to keep America both alive and fed during this Conona Crisis, and at the same time, keep our spirits up.
The very least I can do is try to patronize local businesses in return. After all, I gotta eat any way you slice my ugly muffin.
So, on this beautiful day at the beach, we went for a lovely walk. The sea mist was beautiful and refreshing. Lots of people out and about walking and biking on the local strip. Countless dogs being walked.
And as we approached The Muffinry, I saw people picking up their order and walking to their cars. The beautiful and picturesque exterior of the cafe is beyond charming. I was so appreciative of everything I saw. Life was happening - still - all around me.
Yes, any day and every day can be the best day of one’s life.
The Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry is housed in an absolutely charming old house. About a block from the beach. And yes once again, their location is beyond priceless.
Surrounded by other homes, condos, sidewalks, and inviting and open parks, with the ocean on the horizon, The Ugly Cupcake has all the feels that perfectly define the local beach community here in Jax.
They have outdoor seating tables and chairs and umbrellas. Now just sitting there - waiting to be used when life is “normal” again. When we can un-social distance ourselves from one another.
The property entryway is lined with a white picket fence post front gate, which welcomes you into their front yard.
We were greeted immediately, outside at the front porch. They welcomed us inside and said we could come in if we wanted. We went in to pay and their payment Square is just inside the open front door anyway. But they have it set up to pay that you’re “inside” but not inside the building if you don’t need or want to go any further. While we obviously could not eat inside, I have been here many times, and never have eaten inside. The outside is sooo adorable, and besides, it’s Florida y’all. We are always outside anyway.
Always, such a friendly establishment every time I’ve been - but this day was even better. I was so glad we could chat with them a bit, before continuing on our walk back home. They informed us they have yet to lay off even one employee - as of my visit on Sunday, March 22. And that they are actively donating during this crisis through their newly implemented program entitled “Muffin But Love” - and I just love that.
They are truly helping pay if forward in this great time of need. 100% of the gratuity added to each check is being used entirely to pay it forward. So, if you go, please tip what you can give. They are putting that money to make food to pass on to those in the local community who have been affected by this new and unforeseen crisis, such as business and restaurant and bar workers who have since found themselves abruptly unemployed.
And While The Ugly Cupcake has recently since been restricting their dining to take-out throughout the Corona Crisis, they have still been publicizing daily on their social media about their daily muffin specials. Fresh and very healthy muffins made fresh daily.
And on a somewhat sad note, according to their social media, starting this week they are closing their doors to customers almost entirely for the unforeseen future of this crisis. They will still be available, but through online order, with pick-ups once or twice a week. As they are trying to do their part to limit interactions and help stop the spread. But on a positive note - this is adaptation. This is the way forward. This is innovation. To stay alive. To stay functioning. We all must change in some way to persevere in an ever-changing environment.
If you’re local during this crisis, please consider this wonderful and friendly and local community small business establishment. The next time you need a meal to go, a meal at home that you are too tired to cook for, or simply need to get out of your self-quarantine for a bit when going to the grocery store or pharmacy. Go ahead and place an online order. Stop by and pick up during the scheduled times they set.
The Ugly Cupcake has lots of other foods beyond muffins. I’ve had it all before. And I’ll be happy to come back and review their hot menu for y’all once their kitchen is open to the public again.
But for purposes of this visit, we got their basics. We picked up a bag of muffins and two coffees. Specifically, we ordered two blueberry muffins and two double chocolate muffins. I then ordered a large 16 oz. cappuccino and hubby ordered and the large cold brew iced coffee with some really cool coffee ice cubes inside it - the creative way of not having one’s cold coffee get watered down is genius to coffee fans.
And, of course, because it would not be a visit to the Muffinry without something special happen, they sent us away with a dog muffin as a treat. What a special place in our local community. And as I write this review with joy and love and happiness, I can’t help but feel the sadness still ahead of us through this pandemic. An economic and societal crisis that is really only truly beginning. The ripple effect of everything that has occurred is sending shock waves throughout the world. To receive the doggy muffin during such times touched my heart.
I’ll be back. When they open up again. I’ll be back for a full and thorough dining review - with a hot breakfast out on the porch. Oh yeah - side note - while we could not go upstairs this day due to the statewide indoor dining ban, The Muffinry does have an upstairs, outdoor porch. Breathtaking views await us all at their reopening.
In the interim, if you’re here in town, go ahead and place a take-out order. Help pay it forward to our wonderful and amazing local community when you add gratuity to your check. Say hello. Say thank you. Stop to have a conversation. Remembering all the humans that are part of our shared and beautiful humanity, while you have yourself a very large - and very ugly - muffin. ~
*Have you been to The Ugly Cupcake? What small businesses are you supporting during this Corona Apocalypse? I’d love to know. Drop me a comment down below:
Hey there, my fellow cupcake lovers - here’s some more local bakery, diner, and coffee shop reviews for you, all located right here in the Jax, FL area:
9] Sago Coffee: A Cup Of Friendly & Flavorful Florida
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16] Beach Diner ~ If You Feed Them They Will Come
19] Another Broken Egg Cafe ~ A Taste Of NOLA @ The Beach
21] Cinotti’s ~ And Why Life Is Too Short To Not Eat Donuts
39] The Very Official & Quite Serious Donut Debate Of 2020
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
50] Sundays Are For Diners ~ Super Diners
57] First Watch on the First Coast
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