Fueling Up: Student and Staff Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix

As most University of Georgia students, faculty or staff members know: caffeine is a vital ingredient to keep things moving around Athens. In a college town, though, there are endless options to achieve your java fix. Here are some recommendations from the experts: UGA staff and students.

Iron Works Coffee lobby

Iron Works Coffee lobby (source:

Ironworks at The Foundry
295 Dougherty Street

“Although I only get coffee there sometimes, Ironworks is my go-to study spot in Athens because of the unique interior décor (I need to be inspired by my atmosphere for my creative projects!) and I always run into people I know.” – Courtney Rutledge, Class of 2020, Graphic Design major

“Ironworks has comfy seating and a cozy atmosphere.” – Lindsey McSwigan, Class of 2020, Marketing and International Business major

SIPS Espresso Cafe with windows open

SIPS Espresso Cafe (source: SIPS Espresso Cafe Facebook page)

Sips Espresso Cafe
1390 Prince Avenue

“Sips is one of my favorite places to get coffee in Athens because it has huge windows that are usually open, so you feel like you’re outside. Plus, the lattes and baked goods are delicious.” – Hayley Cox, Development Coordinator, UGA Graduate School

Inside of Walker's Coffee and Pub

Walker’s Coffee and Pub (source:

Walker’s Coffee & Pub
128 College Avenue

“Walker’s is the best because it’s so cozy and the chai tea lattes are the perfect motivation.” – Ashleigh Burroughs, Class of 2021, Public Relations major

UGA Orientation Leaders at the Starbucks in Tate Student Center

UGA Orientation Leaders at the Starbucks in Tate Student Center (source: UGA Orientation Twitter)

Starbucks in Tate Student Center
831 S. Lumpkin Street

“I usually go to the Starbucks at Tate on campus to get coffee and study because I have a lot of gift cards to Starbucks! I like that it’s in its own private area, but since it’s on campus, I still feel like I’m among lots of people.” – Meg Pruitt, Class of 2020, Graphic Design major

Jittery Joe's Downtown Athens location

Jittery Joe’s Downtown Athens location (source:

Jittery Joe’s (Downtown Location)
297 E. Broad Street

“Jittery Joe’s is roasted by a grad just around the corner from my house, so I have a special affinity for it. The downtown location is convenient for students, but also for faculty and staff. Have a meeting there, grab it to go en route to campus, or grab a bag of their Attack the Day beans to make at home. You won’t regret it.” – Elizabeth Elmore, Communications Director, UGA Division of Development and Alumni Relations


1000 Faces coffee shop in Athens, GA.

1000 Faces
510 N. Thomas Street

“1000 Faces is a great place to grab coffee – the space is beautiful, they roast their own beans and it is conveniently located in downtown Athens!” – Megan Powell, Development Associate, UGA Office of Gift & Estate Planning

Jittery Joe's Roaster Tasting Room

Jittery Joe’s Roaster Tasting Room (source:

Jittery Joe’s (Roaster)
425 Barber Street

“I’m a loyal Jittery Joe’s drinker, and the Roaster is the most convenient for purchasing a latte or beans. It’s not crowded like campus and shopping center locations, and they have treats for your pup!” – Melissa Lee, Donor Impact Coordinator, UGA Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship

Buvez brick building on Barber Street

Buvez on Barber Street (source: Buvez Facebook page)

585 Barber Street

“Buvez is my new favorite coffee shop because of its unique feel and secret location. Located along the train tracks and filled with vintage furniture, the renovated roaster building feels cozy. I love grabbing a 1000 Faces cold brew and relaxing on their indoor bench swing or letting my kids color all over the toddler-height chalkboard in their family-friendly nook.” – Laura Bayne, Communications Associate, UGA Division of Development and Alumni Relations

Hendershots Coffee on Prince Avenue

Hendershots Coffee on Prince Avenue (source: Hendershots Coffee Facebook page)

237 Prince Avenue

“I love Hendershot’s because they have live music and empanadas are available next door [at Viva Argentina].” – Tarleton Woodson, Class of 2020, MIS major


Alumni Weekend is the perfect opportunity to return to campus and feel like a student again … and what makes you feel like a student more than a little coffee to kickstart your day? We hope you enjoyed these recommendations!

Avid Bookshop: Inspired by creativity & community

Janet Geddis (MED ’06) grew up surrounded by and entertained by books.  She claims her love of books comes from “being a child of avid readers.” She remembers that if she were bored, she was told to go outside, read or draw. She also remembers her parents reading to her every night. Janet founded Avid Bookshop on Prince Avenue in Athens seven years ago and two years ago opened a second location on Lumpkin Street in Five Points. Avid Bookshop was just named a Bulldog 100 company for the third time, which means it is one of the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.

Maybe surprisingly, Janet claims getting her Master of Education in Educational Psychology with a focus on Gifted and Creative Education helped her open Avid Bookshop. “In everything I do I think about my professors and classes,” says Geddis. She says so much of the events and strategy revolves around her understanding of creativity and learning. Even if someone is not artistic, ultimately, creativity is stimulating. Avid Bookshop invests in the community through multiple events, including their Avid in Schools program, she says. The bookshop brings well-known or debut authors or illustrators to schools so students can meet working authors and illustrators. The community clearly loves Avid Bookshop back. Janet fondly recalls that one of her most influential professors, Dr. Bonnie Cramond, helped paint the Prince Avenue shop with other community volunteers before it opened. Visiting Athens? Check out Avid Bookshop’s event page for more information about community events.

You can check out the 2019 Bulldog 100 businesses list on our website.

Alumni Spotlight: Josh Collins (BSEH ’97, MS ’99)

Josh Collins (BSEH ’97, MS ’99) is the proud owner of Athen’s newest juke-joint style restaurant, Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken. Located at 1120 Baxter Steet, Athen, GA, the restarunt stives to bring together traditional, southern-family recipes with an atmosphere that will attract a diverse crowd.

The UGA Alumni Association’s Strategic Communications intern, Emilie Clarke ’15, had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumnus. Read below to find out more about Josh’s entrpreneurial endeavors.

You recently opened Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, tell me a little bit about the restaurant. What steps did you take to open your own business? What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Champy’s was founded in Chattanooga in 2009 by a good friend of ours, Seth Champion, who was raised on the Mississippi Delta.  Although Champy’s of Athens is the fifth location, which also includes Daphne, Alabaster and Muscle Shoals, AL, we are not a franchise. We refer to ourselves as a “friendchise” between buddies that enjoy great food in a fun atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun for all ages.

My wife, Amy, and I have talked about moving to Athens for the past 10 years and I knew that Athens was a Champy’s explosion waiting to happen. We worked on selling the idea of Athens to Seth for over two years then invested everything we had into opening, including having to go all the way to Mississippi to get a business loan because local banks wouldn’t work with us. We cashed in our 401Ks, are still living in an RV and continue to invest all of the elbow grease we have every day.


Interior of Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken

Where do you see the company in five years?

For the Athens Champy’s, I can see a destination spot that draws customers from all over Georgia and visiting sports rivals, a thriving catering business for everyone that wants good southern food, and a restaurant full of locals that are drawn to our bluesy atmosphere. As for expansion, I definitely see a second location in five years, maybe an hour or two from Athens.

What chefs or types of cuisines are your biggest food influences?

Flavors from the Deep South – Mississippi Delta hot tamales, fresh fried chicken and homemade sides. Our recipes were handed down from Seth Champion’s grandfather over 40 years ago.

How did your time at UGA help you achieve your personal and professional goals? Did you have a favorite professor or class that really stuck with you? Favorite memory from your time at UGA?

My environmental health sciences degree kick-started my corporate career and provided me with 15 years of business experience that I lean on every day to run the restaurant.

I would have to go with two professors, Dr. David MacIntosh and Dean Phil Williams of the Health Science Campus. You didn’t ask, but I couldn’t forget about Ms. Sandra McPeake who was the department’s assistant in the late 1990s. She couldn’t always keep me out of trouble, but she tried her best!

Football Saturdays in Athens are my favorite memory.  All of them…

What advice would you give to future graduates or young alumni who aspire to own their own business?

Just do it.  No one is going to make it happen, but you.

To learn more about Josh Collins (BSEH ’97, MS ’99) and Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken visit

Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing

Athens, a town where music flourishes, is packed with music venues and sold-out shows. However, two of Athens’ biggest fans , alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10), realized that most people were unaware of the long-term, damaging effects concerts can have on hearing.

Inspired by their undergraduate studies in music business and communication sciences and disorders and by their passion for music, the two graduates started We’re hEAR for You, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for hearing conservation. We’re hEAR for You supplies free earbuds to concert-goers in Athens and across the nation.

Earbuds provided by We’re hEAR for You

In an interview with the Red & Black, Carmody and DeCelles shared their passion for hearing protection.

“We’re trying to break the stigma of hearing protection. People think that hearing protection will decrease the quality of a show, but it actually filters out damaging frequencies. We’re hEAR for You focuses on education. Once people understand the science on why they need to protect their hearing, they are so much more likely to use hearing protection,” said Carmody.

We’re hEAR for You has established chapters in Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but the group’s largest chapter is in the Classic City.

In Athens, the organization’s major effort is to supply music venues, bars and other music-related operations, such as Nuci’s Space, with free ear buds and hearing protection resources. The public is taking full advantage of the earbuds because they have to be restocked frequently.

DeCelles and Carmody are working in collaboration with the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music and to encourage students to get involved in advocating for hearing protection. The organization takes part in the annual International Hearing Awareness Day on campus, too.

As the organization continues to grow, it will work with musicians nationwide to promote hearing conservation. Currently, We’re hEAR for You has recruited 25 bands to carry its earbuds on tour. Carmody operates as a liaison with these artists and ensures the bands remain stocked. The organization even coordinates with music festivals to provide the earbuds to fellow music lovers.

Visit We’re hEAR for You online to partner with them or learn more about their cause.

Source: This was originally published in the Red and Black