Coffee, Comics, and Collaborations – An Inside Look at Villainous Grounds’ Unique Blend

Avatar H.E.A.T. | April 10, 2024 41 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Hey there, coffee lovers and comic enthusiasts!

We've just released a fascinating new video interview on Heartland Eats and Treats featuring Mary Jo Bammel, the owner of Villainous Grounds. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of specialty coffee roasting and combine it with the thrilling experience of a comic bookstore and vendor space.

In this enchanting episode, you'll discover:

1. The Impact of Fresh Roasted Coffee: Mary Jo takes us on a journey explaining how fresh roasted coffee affects the taste, freshness, and overall quality of your cup.

2. The Art of Flavors: Delve into the nuances of coffee flavors and learn how roasting techniques and the origin of beans contribute to its unique taste.

3. Sustainability in Coffee Sourcing: Uncover the importance of sustainable coffee sourcing and the positive impact it creates for small producers and communities.

4. Creativity and Community: Explore the journey of combining coffee, comics, books, and local vendor spaces to create a vibrant and creative community hub at Villainous Grounds.

5. The Intersection of Coffee and Comics: Discover the unexpected fusion of a comic bookstore alongside a specialty coffee roastery and how they both beautifully coexist under one roof.

Fun fact from the episode: Mary Jo recalls a memorable experience in which an unexpected adventure unfolded during a trip to acquire a used roaster for Villainous Grounds, leading to the unique theme of elk merchandise and coffee bag labels at the store.

Experience the magic of Villainous Grounds and get inspired by Mary Jo's passion for blending art and science in the world of coffee. So grab your favorite brew, settle in, and join the adventure with Heartland Eats and Treats.

"Villainous Grounds: Where Coffee, Comics, and Community Converge

In the quaint town of Perryville, Missouri sits a one-of-a-kind establishment that defies traditional categorization. Villainous Grounds, owned by the dynamic duo Mary Jo and David Bammel, seamlessly blends the world of freshly roasted coffee with the immersive realm of comic books, creating a unique haven where individuals can indulge in their passions while fostering a sense of community.

Coffee Roasting and Sourcing

Upon entering Villainous Grounds, one is greeted by the intoxicating aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, perpetually emanating from their in-house roaster. Mary Jo, with an infectious enthusiasm, explains the essence of their coffee philosophy, "Fresh roasted coffee is extremely important because it affects what goes into your cup. It affects the taste, the freshness."

The Science of Coffee: "This whole thing is like a giant science project, actually."

— Mary Jo Bammel

The quest for the perfect cup of coffee has led the Bammels to meticulously consider every facet of their craft. They handpick organic, sustainably sourced beans from 7 different countries, each bearing a distinct flavor profile influenced by the geographic nuances of their origin. Mary Jo elicits, "The different places you buy from, they have different weather conditions and different altitudes of where they're grown, and that affects the flavor, the taste, and all those aromatics that you get from coffee."

It is evident that the love for coffee transcends into a kind of alchemical experimentation, as Mary Jo humorously refers to herself as the 'alchemist' for being adept at "putting together beans and turning them into gold, hopefully." Through their small-batch roasting process, Villainous Grounds strives to not only offer a tantalizing array of coffee flavors but additionally to support sustainable and ethical practices that uplift the global community of coffee growers.

The ripple of innovation stemming from the roasting room extends throughout the expanses of Villainous Grounds, where coffee aficionados and comic enthusiasts alike converge to embark on an immersive journey. Mary Jo elucidates, "Our concept that we started with, we wanted to be a coffee shop originally. We wanted to roast as well, but it wasn't in our budget originally."

Comic Book Store and Events

However, the evolution of Villainous Grounds led to the integration of a comprehensive comic bookstore alongside a selection of books, creating a multifaceted space that caters to a diverse array of passions. The comic book store houses a treasure trove of 8 years' worth of comic books and merchandise, each bearing the mark of a thriving subculture.

The immersive allure of comic books is complemented by a palpable commitment to community-building. Mary Jo reveals, "We work closely with the public schools here and help them out as much as we can with reading programs and book donations and whatnot." Through initiatives like these, right at the heart of the establishment, Villainous Grounds embodies a vision of fostering literary and visual art appreciation among the community, while fortifying essential educational programs.

The community-centric ethos of Villainous Grounds extends beyond the realms of comic books and coffee, with the upper floors housing local vendors renting spaces to showcase their artisanal creations. The space also plays host to events such as author signings and art exhibitions, drawing both creators and enthusiasts alike into a melting pot of artistic exchange.

This melting pot extends to the annual "Comic Con", a collaboration between Villainous Grounds and Heroes for Kids, wherein the vibrant convergence of comic book culture and the art of brewing takes center stage. The event acts as a vibrant celebration, providing attendees with an immersive experience that transcends the typical conventions, and opening up opportunities for enthusiasts to interact with creators and each other in a dynamic and inclusive space. Mary Jo affirms, "We do not sell comic books at the event...we provide all the beverages and have a small cafe for all the town goers and guests."

The journey of Villainous Grounds is not bereft of adventure and perseverance, as evinced by the captivating narrative surrounding the acquisition of their roaster. Mary Jo shares, "We found a roaster that we liked. It was used. It is used, our baby, but it was in Montana." This led to an epic journey, fraught with unforeseen obstacles such as a chance encounter with an elk that almost halted their endeavor. However, their tenacity and determination eventually saw them triumph, with a heartwarming homage to the experience adorning the very walls of Villainous Grounds.

As light filters through the large storefront windows, casting a warm glow on the elk-themed merchandise dotting the store, it becomes apparent that Villainous Grounds is more than a business; it is a labor of love, a vibrant testament to the spirit of perseverance that forms the cornerstone of their tale. Mary Jo reflects, "We started roasting almost 3 years ago now. We were waiting to try and get some funds up because it's not a cheap process to start."

Here, amidst the aromatic swirls of freshly brewed coffee and the vivid narratives enshrined within comic book panels, patrons are not just customers; they are welcomed into a tapestry of shared experiences and diverse passions. Villainous Grounds serves as a poignant testament to the power of small businesses to infuse their local communities with a sense of identity, purpose, and creativity.

As the fragrant swirls of freshly brewed coffee intermingle with the vibrant narratives enshrined within comic book panels, Villainous Grounds offers a compelling testimony to the power of small businesses to infuse their local communities with a sense of identity, purpose, and creativity. In the heart of Perryville, Villainous Grounds stands as a vibrant testament to the spirit of perseverance and the unstoppable potential of dedicated visionaries to transform everyday experiences into extraordinary narratives.


Villanious Grounds Facebook Page

Address: 26 N Jackson St, Perryville, MO, United States, Missouri

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Written by H.E.A.T.


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