School Year Getaway

Located in a small town in New Hampshire called Goffstown, Apothéca Flower and Tea is a shop that’s done something I’ve never seen before, cultivating communal creativity and a new environment for students to relax and study in. It’s about an hour’s drive from Boston and so worth the weekend escape, especially if your plans involve online work or studying, which isn’t usually connotated with a getaway but there’s nothing usual about this place. 

As new as the shop feels, there’s a long line of history behind it. The front room of this cafe was actually built in 1800 and was used as a transportation center due to its location near a railroad station. In 1952, after the railroad was no longer in use, it became a hardware store. It was not until 2008 that the parents of the current owner, Alyssa Van Guilder, bought the space which helped set forth her reimagining of it into this comforting, lively coffee shop now known as Apothéca.

Image Source: Brianna McCadden

Inside the store, there are various aspects to it that set it apart from the typical coffee shop. For one, there’s a variety of musical instruments lying all throughout it. It’s common to find someone picking up the guitar and playing it for everyone in the seasonally decorated outdoor space, situated in the front of the store. Or there may be someone playing the piano that sits beside the plant shop near the back of the store. 

Usually, music and studying are harmonious and yet they are never settled together in such an innovative and tactile way. This availability of resources encourages people to take breaks from their work at the table in one of the most calming and nuanced ways. 

Just last weekend, I sat down beside a guitar player, who was in his mid-fifties and an ex-band member. He played a lot of his own songs and even shared what they meant. There’s room for conversation here with all its meandering self-expression. This is a place people come to for various reasons, and for some like him, it’s here to reconnect with the public in the way one loves best.

Image Source: Brianna McCadden

The menu itself here should also be appreciated, with its notable variety of rich coffee flavors, aromatic matcha, teas, smoothies, and even seasonal drinks. The avocado toast, according to local college students, is also a favorite and a staple worth mentioning. 

What I find to be the most stylishly imaginative part of this business is the outdoor green spaces available to sit and work in, hidden very quietly in the frequently under-explored back of the shop. To go along with its promotion of being environmentally friendly, the arrangement looks like small, caved, greenhouses with glass tables that are encircled by cushions as seats. It’s very quiet and warm there, which helps accommodate both one’s focus and pleasure. 

Image Source: Brianna McCadden

This really is the perfect place to escape when in need of a refreshingly warm essence to create study habits in.