Orlando Indie Coffee Shops

I created a Google Map of independent coffee shops around Central Florida.

These are fairly easy to create for your own city. Find coffee shops in your local city, save them to a particular map and make sure you only find locally-owned or non-Big Chain Coffee shops. No gas stations, no restaurants that serve coffee. Cafes, coffee shops, and bistros are ideal. If a company owns more than one shop, that’s okay. We just don’t want large corporations that have thousands of shops around the world.

If you make your own map, let me know, and I’ll be happy to embed it here.

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Coffee Shop Etiquette: Vespr Coffeebar’s “Sit & Sip” Policy

Coffee shops have worked hard to become that “third place” — that place where you go when you’re not at work and not at home. And there’s nothing better than walking into your favorite indie coffee shop and finding an empty seat. Better yet, a seat at your favorite table. Right under the vent, near an electrical outlet, the perfect distance from the speakers.

And so you plan on staying for several hours, enjoying your favorite spot, getting some work or studying done, visiting friends, and basking in the glory of having the best seat all to yourself.

Except Emily Post and coffee shop etiquette tell us that this is simply not done. There are rules — well, unwritten rough guidelines — that tell us how long you can stay at that table.

Meaning you can’t just buy a $2 cup of coffee and camp there for the next eight hours. That loses a lot of money for the coffee shop owner.

That is, if the owner could get two people sitting at that table every hour, and each of them spent $5, that’s worth $120 in a 12-hour day. Even if one person sat there and spent $5 per hour, that’s still $60. But if you sit there for 8 hours at $2, they only made $.25 per hour on that same table.

Do you see the problem?

It’s not that the owner doesn’t want you there. It’s that they have a business to run, which they can’t do on $.25 per hour. And it’s unfair if you’re taking up a seat or even a whole table, and someone else who’s going to come in and spend $5 – $10 can’t because they can’t find a place to sit.

Vespr 02 - Edd SiuEdd Siu, owner of Vespr Coffeebar in Orlando, Florida, has created a “sit and sip” policy where people who hang out at the shop should buy something. Even if it is a $2 coffee, or a $5 latte, or an avocado toast. If you want to take up space, you need to buy something.

Additionally, coffee shop etiquette says we should buy something every so often as a way to “renew” our table.

But how often should you make another purchase?

“I’ve heard every 45 minutes, every hour, every two hours,” said Siu. “It depends on the person and it’s up to them to judge for themselves and what they can afford to do.”

Your spending habits are a judgment call about your own circumstances and your finances. Don’t overspend if you can’t afford it, but don’t overstay your welcome either. If you see that the place is slammed, and you’re still nursing a cold cup of tea three hours later, come back again tomorrow.

At the very least, offer to split your table and make room for a stranger. Invite someone new to sit with you. That way the shop is making a little more money on your table, even if it’s not going to be from you at that moment.

But don’t feel bad if you can only spend $2 per visit, even if you come back every day for such a “small” amount.

“That still adds up and helps our bottom line,” said Siu. “Besides, they’re our regulars, and we love the people who come to us again. That’s a humble place for us to be in because it means they see us as a place to make their second home.”

So remember, as we get closer to #IndieCoffeeShopDay on April 19, support your local coffee shops, but remember to either buy something every 45 minutes to 2 hours and try to spend a few bucks each time. That helps ensure that your favorite coffee shop will be there in the years to come.

Article about C&P Coffee in Seattle

The folks in Seattle sound like they have a much-loved coffee shop on the west side of town. The Westside Seattle newspaper/blog has a great story about how C & P Coffee was able to raise enough money to buy the property rather than losing their place if the then-current owners sold the place.

Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters – Citrus County, FL

Special article by a fellow Writers Of Central Florida Or Thereabouts writer, Diane Dobry.

Living in Citrus County, if I didn’t get my coffee from a diner or family restaurant, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s would have been the most likely stops for anything besides a basic coffee to-go. Starbucks was not on the map, so finding anything like a latte, espresso or cold brew was not easy.

Cattle Dog Coffee 01.jpgDiscovering Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters there was like finding Shangri-La.

Not only was there a sophisticated selection of coffees and teas — more than 30 flavors of fresh roasted coffee, as well as cappuccino, espresso, loose leaf teas, and cold brew as well as custom flavors for decaf lovers — but they have a coffee roaster onsite and will roast coffee to customers’ specifications to bring home.

And unlike Starbucks, there is a creative menu of breakfast and brunch items, sandwiches, bakery items — including a small variety of bagels — as well as salads, burgers, and even lobster rolls and omelets with vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Review sites as well as their Facebook page show fans from around the country who have discovered this delightful high-end, gourmet eatery, that not only cares enough about coffee brewing to teach readers of their website on the process of roasting coffee beans and making coffee, they take the coffee shop model up several notches to also satisfy the cravings of foodies in Citrus with their truly unique menu.

Just a sample of breakfasts include steak and eggs, lobster omelets, braised pot roast breakfast flatbread, and a Twisted Monte Cristo that includes eggs, honey ham and strawberry habanero jam on 3 slices of Texas cut French toast. And of course they serve the millennial breakfast staple—avocado toast.

Cattle Dog Coffee 02.jpgThe owners are passionate about coffee, and food. They even will cater your breakfast event or prepare boxed lunches.

So if you’re heading out to the west coast of Florida to see the manatees, do some hiking, ride a horse trail, camp out in Withlacoochee State Forest, or bike along the 46-mile paved Withlacoochee State Trail, fuel your hunger and caffeine cravings at a top-of-the-line coffee house and eatery.

Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar, Lakeville, MN

From author and Minneapolis/St. Paul resident Michael Miller:

Up here in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, my go-to coffeehouse is Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar in downtown Lakeville (20790 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044).

It’s a small place, just four tables on the coffeeshop side (and another dozen on the wine bar side). The tables are square and spacious and close to electrical outlets. The Wi-Fi is generally strong.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do like their chai, which is my favorite Big Train variety. They have wide variety of coffee and non-coffee drinks, and a surprisingly good lunch menu of sandwiches, wraps, and soups. Also very good scones in the morning, before they run out. Nice friendly people, never too crowded (although the line for takeout at lunch can get long), just a great local joint.

Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar, Lakeville, MN.png

Celebrate Independent Coffee Shops with Indie Coffee Shop Day

For Immediate Release

We’ve developed such a coffee culture in North America that the coffee shop is becoming the home-away-from-home and office-away-from-office for many entrepreneurs, aspiring writers, and friends who just want to meet for something other than lunch or drinks in the evening.

One coffee shop-loving entrepreneur is encouraging everyone to observe Indie Coffee Shop Day on April 19, 2019, the day before Record Store Day.

“Indie Coffee Shop Day is on the third Friday in April,” said Erik Deckers, creator of Indie Coffee Shop Day. “I wanted to celebrate the different non-corporate, non-chain coffee shops that have become a community touchpoint for friends and small businesspeople around the country.”

Local coffee shops are a great way to get to know a community and what they value, because they’re often a central meeting point for many of the people who live there.

Duo 58 in Oviedo Florida.jpg“Local coffee shops have an important presence in the community because of the way we connect with everyone,” said Sam Veatch, manager at Duo58 Coffee Shop in Oviedo, Florida. “Here, we have everyone from college students to grandparents to business meetings. We see a lot of people from the community and it’s a natural meeting place for other local entrepreneurs. You can get a real sense for what the community is because of the array of customers.”

Shopping locally can have a big boost on a city’s economy: Nearly $.45 of every dollar spent at a locally-owned business stays in the local community, with another 9% being spent in the state. But that same dollar spent at a chain store only sees $.14 staying locally.

Most independent coffee shops encourage people to sit and spend time reading, working, writing, meeting friends, and just relaxing with your favorite beverage. Some will feature musicians in the evenings, or host comedy and literary open mics. Many independent coffee shops will even display and sell art from local artists, changing art and artists every month.

Deckers says one of his favorite coffee shops in Central Florida even sells used books, and another favorite in Louisville used to share space with an independent bookstore before both places grew too big, and had to separate.

To commemorate Indie Coffee Shop Day, people should visit their favorite local coffee house for a quick drink and bite to eat. You’re encouraged sit for a while, relax, and enjoy yourself.

“And then plan out which record store you want to visit the next day,” said Deckers.

Independent coffee shops and their customers are encouraged to spread the word about Indie Coffee Shop day by tweeting and Instagramming photos with the hashtag #IndieCoffeeShopDay.

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Indie Coffee Shop Day 2019 is April 19

Indie Coffee Shop Day 2019 is coming up, and I would love to feature different non-chain coffee shops on this site. So, send any write ups or reviews (at least 150 words, no more than 700!), photos and videos, or favorite recipes to me at erik at problogservice dot com. I’ll post them here and promote them in the run-up to the new holiday.

indie coffee shop day 2018 at duo 58

Erik Deckers

Indy Indie Coffee Shops

Several years ago, I created a Google Map for Indianapolis Indie Coffee Shops. I even purchased the domain, IndyIndieCoffee.com. I haven’t contributed to it in a couple of years, so if you know of any shops that have opened or closed, please let me know. Better yet, if you live in the Indianapolis area, and would like to become the editor of this map, let me know. I’d be happy to set you up with this.

These are fairly easy to create for your own city. Find coffee shops in your local city, save them to a particular map and make sure you only find locally-owned or non-Big Chain Coffee shops. No gas stations, no restaurants that serve coffee. Cafes, coffee shops, and bistros are ideal. If a company owns more than one shop, that’s okay. We just don’t want large corporations that have thousands of shops around the world.

If you make your own map, let me know, and I’ll be happy to embed it here.

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Indie Coffee Shop Day 2018

Okay, so I suck at marketing. Which is weird, because I’m a professional marketer. I’m just so busy with client work that I can’t even promote the events that I come up with.

I came up with the idea for Indie Coffee Shop Day four years ago, promoted it for a while in 2014, and then didn’t do anything with it for the next three years. This year, I got distracted by client work and other side projects that I haven’t done much with it at all.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’ve lost the meaning of Indie Coffee Shop Day. The goal is to promote the idea of visiting your local independent coffee shops instead of Big Chain Coffee.

When I lived in Indianapolis, I had a few favorites. I loved Hubbard & Cravens in Broad Ripple, and could be found there at least twice a week. I also loved B Java and Bee Coffee Roasters, and think they had the best coffee in all of Central Indiana.

Inside Duo 58 in Oviedo, Florida. One of my favorite indie coffee shops in Central Florida.

Inside Duo 58 in Oviedo, Florida.

Now that I live here in Orlando, I have three favorites I visit constantly: Duo 58 in Oviedo, Vespr in the Waterford Lakes area in east Orlando, and Stardust Video and Coffee in Winter Park. I have a few others I enjoy — the Drunken Monkey, Achilles Art Cafe, Downtown Credo — where I can be found for a couple hours, working and enjoying the local coffee scene.

If you’re in the mood for coffee today, and you normally only drink Big Chain Coffee, do yourself a favor. Do a quick search on Google Maps for a nearby independent coffee shop and give them a try. Ask them questions, ask for recommendations, and get to know the people behind the counter.

And remember, for every dollar you spend at a local merchant, $.40 of it stays in the community. At a chain store, only $.13 does. Support your local merchants.