The Democratic candidates are coming to Westerville with no idea of how much charm it has. Uptown Westerville is a frequent stop for Otterbein students, and a few key local businesses are the heart of college culture. In order to understand the quaint atmosphere of Otterbein and Uptown, the Democratic candidates should visit these two places: 

Java Central Café and Roaster: Commonly referred to as just Java Central, this local coffeeshop has a funky atmosphere that calls to Otterbein students as their home away from campus. The creaky floors, mismatched furniture, and calm music serve as an environment where students can escape when they need to hang out between classes, do some homework, or get off campus. 

Java Central has a large variety of hot, cold, and frozen drinks that are made with passion and care. Local musicians often fill the space with live music, and an art gallery provides a place for local artists to display their work.

Emma Wardell, a junior literary studies and journalism double major, is passionate about her love for Java Central. When asked why she prefers the local coffee shop to a chain such as Starbucks, she said “The atmosphere is different [from Starbucks]. It’s more welcoming and comfortable. Everyone just has a mutual understanding of each other.” 

          

Schneider's Bakery: You’ll hear it from the moment you step on campus for your very first tour: “1 a.m. donut run!” You’ll finally get to experience that tradition for yourself during First Flight week, and you'll get a free t-shirt to commemorate the event. Schneider's Bakery is a staple of not only Uptown Westerville, but also the Otterbein community. 

The bakery really does open at the early hour of 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and even opens at 1 a.m. on Saturdays. This makes it the perfect spot for a late night snack of a donut and a carton of milk costing only $1.50 or a $1.75, depending on which donut you get. 

The bakery started accepting credit cards just almost three years ago on May 12, 2017, after being cash only for 61 years. This change came after more and more people, including Otterbein students, stopped carrying cash. 

          

There are, of course, many other local staples of Westerville, but Java Central and Schneider's Bakery are two local businesses that are very dear to both Otterbein students and residents of Westerville. If the Democratic candidates want the full experience of our quiet, peaceful village, they must be sure to stop into Java Central to get a locally famous coffee and join the hordes of current Otterbein students and alumni to make a 1 a.m. donut run to Schneider's Bakery.