What's in a Name: Hot Coffee

Hot Coffee, MS - To know Hot Coffee, you have to know the people. If you know the people, you know Lynda Sanford. She owns McDonald's store, and it's the only business you'll find in Hot Coffee.

"The store around the curve, they closed up about five or six years ago," said Sanford.

Her parents bought this store back in 1967. She took over ten years later.

"We have a souvenir shelf set up over here," Sanford points out. "We sell a lot of the cups, a lot of mugs."

During her 37 years at the register, Lynda has seen a lot of folks pass through, all of them intrigued about how this tiny place on the map got it's name.

"Tourists all the time are taking pictures of the signs and the coffee pots that we have hanging outside," said Sanford.

Hot Coffee is a tiny community in Covington County, near Collins. To understand the name, you'll have to go back to the 1800's, when travelers were using horse and carriage. A local inn owner, named Levi Davis would make sure he always had a pot of coffee, ready to pour for tired travelers while his wife made tea cakes.

"He cut out a coffee pot sign and put two words on it, hot coffee," said Sanford.

From there, the name stuck and the rest is history. Just one look at the store's registry, shows just how intriguing a name came be. They come from all over the U.S., even Canada, Brazil, Switzerland and England.

"We had a family from Japan come through," said Sanford.

For Evelyn Dean and Jackie Starr, originally from Soso, but now living in Alabama, a trip back to Mississippi always includes a stop in Hot Coffee and the store they grew up with.

"We have to stop here first and do our shopping," said Starr.

"I have to come and get my syrup, I have to get my plum jelly and my candies," said Dean. "It's just a great place. She's got everything you need."

"If they come from,say within 30, 40 miles just to see the store, we always give them a complimentary cup of coffee," said Sanford.

For the most part, everything in Hot Coffee comes with a laid back attitude and a complimentary cup, but there are some simple rules. Hand written signs and hospitality pretty much rule the place and for the folks who call Hot Coffee home, It's just as sweet as the sugar that goes into it.

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