Tiny-house and coffee cultures merge at Story Coffee Company 

Side Dish

The rest of the Story

Talk about a merging of modern movements: Third Wave coffee meets the tiny house phenomenon. Beware the operation less chic.

The four owners of Story Coffee Company (storycoffeecompany.com) believed they'd be opening the world's first tiny-house coffee shop before learning of new Poncha Springs business Tiny House Coffee. Bragging rights aside, SCC's Don Niemyer points to some promising assets.

Don, head barista, and his wife Carissa lived in Colorado Springs years ago, before building coffee careers. They opened three shops (including Speedboat Coffee) in Portland, Oregon and have also served as competition judges, she for the United States Barista Championship.

Brandon Noffsinger is a tech guy and roaster who'll oversee that operation when SCC handles its own beans (off-site), and his wife Kelly is an artist responsible for SCC's design elements. The two couples became friends in Portland, and while later meeting up on separate RV trips, they turned casual talk into a plan to partner in business.

As recently detailed in Sprudge, the couples set off on respective cross-country tours in search of the best coffee enterprises. A year and 45 states later, the tiny-house twist emerged, inspired by all the minimalist road living. They selected favorite roasters to feature, outfits like: Burlington, Vermont's Brio; Miami, Florida's Panther; Corvallis, Oregon's Bespoken; and Fayetteville, Arkansas' Onyx. More, they'll be the first to serve Portland's lauded Stumptown Coffee fresh in Colorado.

"Each [roaster] produces great coffee," says Don, "but we're drawn to them for their personal stories."

The first "story" in SCC's name refers to those coffees and their roasters. (Even when SCC begins to roast, it'll still serve other brands.) The second is their families' story. The third will be customers' stories, created here. "We want to make friends," he says. "We love this city and what's happening here."

Limited space means they'll stick to batch-brewed coffee, which Don calls "consistent and predictable." Espresso drinks will come off a La Marzocco Linea. Requested cream and sugar will be added for you as "an expression of hospitality," with only a house-made vanilla syrup and chocolate available as additives.

"We're not snobs," Don assures. "But we're not everything to everybody."

From front door to counter, the space is 14 feet with standing tables, then 2 feet of bar, 2 feet of barista room, and 2 feet of back counter.

"Everyone steps in for the first time and says, 'Wow, it's a lot bigger than I thought,'" says Don, who adds that a walk-up window will allow for continued sales when max capacity's reached. SCC will park at Acacia Park for Skate in the Park through Jan. 18, then move to a yet-to-be-determined location.


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