Last year, we followed Barista Magazine contributor Don Niemyer on his cross-country tour of the United States in search of inspiration for his own coffee shop. Now, we follow Don in this
three four-part series (more to enjoy!) as he uses the lessons he’s learned to build his own cafe.
Part Three: Dreams Become Reality
I have two beautiful daughters. They are really fabulous little ladies, each with their own distinct personalities, and special things that make them uniquely valuable to me. I love them both endlessly. But as different as they are, I could never imagine loving one of them more than the other. They are both just wonderful.
That’s the way I feel about all the coffee shops we visited on The Rialta Coffee Tour. People always want to know which places and coffee shops we liked the best. The fact is, there were so many that were so endlessly fabulous, we could never pick just one! Some we liked for their quality coffee, others because of the kindness of the barista or the generosity of the owners, and still others we enjoyed because of their beautiful, innovative spaces. So picking which were our favorites isn’t a productive conversation. But we love to tell about our experiences with some of these great shops, and how they inspired us to create Story Coffee Company to tell their stories. In part one of this series we shared how we became œaccidental minimalists while touring coffee shops around the nation, and part two was about how that experience inspired us to create a tiny house coffee shop. Now, we’ll look at just a few specific examples of how our coffee tour inspired our project, with photos where possible:
And on it could go for hours, but hopefully you get the idea. There are just so many wonderful cafés out there, and I’m sure we only saw a handful of them. But the ones we did visit were just so deeply inspirational, and we are so grateful for having experienced each one!
SO ¦now that our tiny house coffee shop was nearing completion, we just had one final nut to crack: where to put it! We had always believed that if we built something compelling that an opportunity would open up for us. Did that happen? Or did we just build a $50,000 paper weight? We’re out of space for this installment, but we’ll finish up next time with The Story of Story Coffee. See you then!
Don Niemyer used to own three coffee shops in Portland, Ore., where he and his wife Carissa spent 8 years immersed in the excellent coffee culture there, milking it like a dairy cow for every drop of expertise it would give them, making lots of friends, doing some USBC judging, and learning all they could. One day, they decided to move their kids closer to family, so they bought a tiny RV, moved into it, and have been œmoving to Colorado ever since, visiting coffee shops, practicing minimalism, and having lots of fun. That was over two years ago. One of these days, they might even end up living in Colorado.