Getting Local with Grace: Helen's Coffee

Helen’s Coffee

327 Potomac Blvd. Suite G

Mt. Vernon, IL 62864




If you’re familiar with the Rend Lake Marketplace, you’ve probably walked by Helen’s Coffee Shop. Previously known as the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop, Helen Cobble began renting the space from the college in 2009, officially owning Helen’s Coffee. Helen began working as a part-time barista at the shop a few years prior. Her son was working for the RLC Coffee Shop at the time and after telling his mom about it, Helen said, “Oh I’ve always wanted to own a coffee shop! I have to try and work there!” The college had plans to move the shop to Rend Lake’s campus. Helen quickly submitted her business proposal, it was approved, and she was thrilled to keep the shop at the Marketplace while owning her own business.



The café area offers plenty of seating where you can relax on a couch and watch tv, chat at a table with friends, or use their computer area to catch up on homework. To someone who has never been to Helen’s Coffee, Helen would describe it as a quiet, friendly shop for people to meet. A group from Kentucky and Missouri have frequently used Helen’s Coffee as their mutual meeting place for almost 10 years. Although the shop’s main clientele are students and workers at the Marketplace, the coffee shop is open to the public six days a week. You can grab a cup of Joe on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Tues/Thurs from 8 a.m.- 7:30 p.m.



Helen estimates she’s made a gazillion drinks over the years, but her favorite is the frappe. She has over a dozen flavors of syrup to choose from, with several sugar-free options available, as well. Their best seller? The caramel frappe. Helen can customize your coffee creations and is happy to look up new recipes and drinks. Tell Helen you read this blog to receive a special offer- Buy One Frappe, Get One Half Off in the same transaction.



With colder temps bringing in the festive spirit, I ordered a large peppermint mocha with sugar free dark chocolate. Caution: you will want to eat the whipped cream and chocolate sauce first with a spoon! Delicious down to the last sip!



The daily interactions with people are what Helen loves most about her life as a barista. “This is a friendly mom and pop place. You get to know everybody.”



Next time you’re on Potomac Blvd, don’t forget about Helen’s Coffee! Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you sip on your favorite caffeinated drink. You might just discover something new!