Coffee shop at Old Mill evolves into Cleveland staple
With its diverse menu, comfortable couches, custom art and chill vibes, The Mill Coffee is a popular off-campus spot for Lee students.
Located only a mile from Lee’s campus, the establishment serves as a hideaway for those seeking to escape the busyness of everyday life. The mere simplicity of The Mill allows for a community hangout or an alternative workspace. With space to study, work, socialize or simply enjoy good coffee, the shop provides a welcoming environment for college students and Cleveland natives alike.
The manager of The Mill, Miranda Dunn, serves as one of the driving forces behind the success of the shop. While maintaining a full-time student schedule at Lee, Dunn has served as manager since the business first opened in September of 2017—a balancing act she said proved difficult at first.
“When we first opened, I did not know how to best take care of myself,” Dunn said. “I was working around 60 to 80 hours a week, and I really needed time to introvert. Things are better and a lot more balanced now.”
Dunn said the building process and success of the shop has been a unique journey. When she first started managing the shop, she saw herself as a tea fanatic more than a coffee drinker. As she started drinking coffee more and trying new recipes, she said she felt she was searching for the same thing that her customers wanted—new and quality flavors of coffee.
“Most of the recipes are mine. They’re just ones that I experimented with before we opened, but everything has been a total team effort,” Dunn said. “We didn’t look up recipes online because we wanted to create something totally unique.”
In addition to many of the recipes, the artwork on the walls and tables are pieces Dunn created herself. As manager, she said she wanted to create a shop that stayed open late, promoted social activity and had a unique atmosphere.
As The Mill has grown, Dunn said she has tried to build a place that could serve as a safe space and comfortable environment for the whole community. She emphasized that she did not want the shop to be exclusive to college students or working adults but rather a space where anyone could come and feel welcomed.
Kris Smith, who usually comes to the shop once or twice a week, said she likes the “chill environment” and appreciates how affordable the coffee is. Lauren Smith also commented on how the “comfy atmosphere” made The Mill a great place to study.
Others like Jarod Noel, who admitted to not being a big fan of the coffee, said the “Cleveland vibe” and community of the shop was something that really appealed to him.
This feeling is perhaps the thing that makes the shop stand out, according to Noel. A place for friends and a little caffeine, The Mill provides a unique space for people to relax, collaborate or just escape the stresses of life.
The Mill is located on Church Street and is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to midnight.