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Uncommon man standing on firm ground
Faces and places
Drew Cole climbs on one of the beams inside Uncommon Grounds, an eatery in downtown Hinesville owned by his family, because, as he says, “I can.” Cole has worked there for two years and said he is the reason customers keep coming back. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Name: “The” Drew Cole

Occupation: Employed at his family’s eatery and coffee shop, Uncommon Grounds, in downtown Hinesville for the last two years.
If you’ve ever been to Uncommon Grounds (formerly Over Coffee) you’ve probably met Cole.
He is hard to miss due to his eclectic style and sense of humor.

Family: Cole and his wife Tamika just celebrated their 10th anniversary. Together they have three children, two boys and a girl, 6, 3 and 3 months old.
Cole’s wife is from Hinesville and he grew up in Liberty County. Together they moved to Atlanta, but once their first child was born they decided Liberty County was a better place to raise a family.
“It’s a family oriented environment,” he said about being back home.”

What the hardest part about being a dad?
“Trying to give enough time to spend with the kids and being able to balance that with my hours here at work and assisting around the house.”

How many tattoos do you have? “Right now I have six, but I want more. I’m getting argyle socks tattooed on both of my feet. One of them is going to be a quitter so it’s going to be falling down on its own accord, the other one is going to be all the way up. But I’m going to have the design down all the way to the base of my feet.”
Cole said his first tattoo was an act of rebellion.
“But after that it became something unique,” he said. “Some things remind me of where I’ve been in the past. Some of them represent mistakes and feelings I had during a particular time. I think it’s always positive to remember, even when you have made some mistakes. That way you can avoid it or learn from it and it kind of helps me through all that.”

How did you end up working at your family’s business:
“When we first moved back down here the job market was kind of tight and all the troops were gone,” he said. “Everything was real quiet. They (Jennifer and Everett Cole) were talking about purchasing the coffee shop and I had a lot of experience with customer service, foods and drinks. So I offered to help get it going and I’m still here.”
The Coles opened the café on Dec. 15, 2007.
“The previous owners had it three or four years,” he said.

What do you think draws the folks to Uncommon Grounds? “Me,” he said. “I looked in the mirror this morning and thought, no wonder everyone keeps coming back to Uncommon Grounds.”

You’ve personally put a lot of yourself in this place, why? “We are just a little different from the norm. This place makes them feel like they are somewhere unique, maybe like being in a bigger city, yet we maintain the small town values and customer service that brings people in.”
Cole said they’ve started to extend hours.
“Now we are open on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.,” he said. “And we are looking to expand our hours so that we can stay open later during the week hopefully in the March-April time frame.”

Having a creative background, Cole said he likes the opportunity to highlight creativity at the café. He’s brought in several musicians to perform, hosted poetry groups and said they recently cleared the walls to be able to display the photos, drawings and art of local artists, especially students.
“Actually a girl that goes to Liberty just shot a video here for her class,” he said. “And she used Uncommon Grounds as one of the scenes in her movie and she has it posted on her myspace account and that’s pretty cool. Everybody has art, at least somewhat, in their business. I think it helps to create a bond between the community and your business when you help them out by getting their stuff out there.”

What is one thing folks may not know about you:
“I’m a big, massive, multi-player online world playing games (MMOers) user. I’ve been playing those for years and I play every day for the most part. I get online and I’ve led many guilds. I interact with a lot of people online.”

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