Word of mouth propels 'The Hob Nob' - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Word of mouth propels 'The Hob Nob'


The Hob Nob coffee shop owner Trisha Kosloski is shown in a “totally classic” pose behind the bar, ready for some hot gossip.  Photo by Sophia Potter

Sophia Potter

By Sophia Potter
Freelance Reporter

The Hob Nob, a local coffee shop at 120 W. Ottawa St. near LCC’s main campus, is coming up on its one-year anniversary going strong through purely word of mouth and an undeniable charm.

The coffee shop is considered to be “Lansing’s worst kept secret,” by owner and former LCC student Trisha Kosloski. She said the biggest issue the shop faces now is a lack of seating at peak hours.

While the space itself is small, it has what every coffee shop hopes to foster - a buzzing, infectious environment.

“I keep coming here because of Trisha and her energy,” said regular Danny Black. “When I feel depleted, I know that I can come here and leave feeling filled back up.”

Kosloski, a lifelong Lansing resident, first worked in the space The Hob Nob now occupies in 2004. She worked as a barista and eventually a manager of then-Beaner’s coffee.

Motherhood and politics have changed Kosloski’s path a few times over the last two decades, but it seems all roads lead back to coffee - and hopefully, LCC.

“When I was pregnant, I worked in here; when my kids were little, they were in here all the time,” Kosloski said.

She left LCC just a few credits shy of an associate degree in Costume Design to be as hands-on raising her kids as possible, but she has never stopped chasing her dreams.

“I can say for certain that my kids are actually proud of me, which is really sweet because I feel like usually it goes the other way around, and parents are proud of their kids,” she said.

After a decade in coffee, Kosloski left Beaner’s/Biggby for a job in politics she had leveraged with the knowledge and connections she had gained over the years. Her heart still belonged to the shop; at the beginning of her political career, she still spent most of her days there.

“When I left for politics, I left with a friend of mine that was starting a business,” she said. “He didn’t have an office … so this was the office.”

The same back booth where she used to set her baby's  car seats as she prepped in the morning now served as a launching pad for a business and her career in lobbying.

“Even when we got the office, I would still come down once a week to sit and talk to people,” Kosloski said. “When I left that place and moved into an actual lobby office, I still did the very same thing.”

Much of the character and what makes the shop so magical - and part of how it got its name - is this proximity to politics.

“It’s called ‘The Hob Nob’ because I sit underneath the House of Representatives building, which is colloquially called the HOB, and I’m a small little knob of a shop,” Kosloski said with a grin.

“Hobnob also means to like, rub elbows and have meetings, and upper class and lower class together in one space.”

Another quirk that sets the shop apart is the commitment to community that is quite literally on display from door to door. Coffee beans roasted across the Midwest line the counters; a curio cabinet toward the front of the store hosts a surprising number of artworks.

creatures crochetCrochet figures made by employee Blaze can be purchased at the shop. Photo by Sophia Potter

Employee Blaze keeps the shelves stocked with a supply of handmade crochet creatures, the success of which gave Kosloski the idea to create space for more local art. Taking only the cost of tax as a commission, Kosloski seemed more than willing to lend that space to whomever asks for it.

“The guy who cleans my office is an amazing photographer, so his pictures are all over the place,” Kosloski said. “Bob Rose, who’s a local artist, he brought in a bunch of stuff for me to put up … My former sister-in-law makes cards so her cards are up there. Another customer brought in their cards … I just love letting other people have a space.”

Being just around the corner from LCC has always been part of what made the space special to Kosloski. In fact, the school is part of how she started working at Beaner’s. Former LCC Lead Costume Designer Charlotte Deardorff suggested Kosloski work there when she was a student in the Performing Arts Department.

With her oldest child going off to LCC in the fall, Kosloski has been feeling the pull of campus even more than before.

“It kind of keeps calling to me, you know?” she said. “Especially because it is right there, and I’m still involved. Like, some of my friends still work there on campus. I’m still really good friends with my old teachers and the program director for the performing arts, Andy Callis and Melissa Kaplan.”

Experience the buzz that has made The Hob Nob such an electrifying place between 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. Call (517) 372-6899 for more information.



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