Innovative business meets coffee at Story Coffee Co., the only tiny house coffee shop along the Front Range. The business first opened on a temporary basis alongside the Skate in the Park outdoor ice rink in Acacia Park late last year. Now, they have established a more permanent location in the park next to the historic bandshell at 120 E. Bijou Street, in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs.
“We wanted to do something with excellence and elegance, yet keep it simple,” said co-owner Don Niemyer. “The tiny house movement embodies those ideas. We wanted to push back against ‘bigger is better’ and demonstrate that you can do something world-class with a small footprint.” The 160 square foot space delivers on that promise.
Story Coffee uses top of the line equipment and features coffees from some of the industry’s most celebrated roasters, including Onyx Coffee Lab (Fayetteville, AR), Brio Coffeeworks (Burlington, VT) and Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, OR). Stumptown is a long-time partner, and Story Coffee is the first café in the state of Colorado to offer their coffees. A simple menu also features a small selection of teas, pastries and hot chocolate. To keep things interesting, they change out all their coffee offerings every few weeks, have guest baristas, offer coffee flights and even special signature beverages like the “Coffee Old Fashioned.”
The Story behind Story Coffee Co.
- Matthew Schniper
When Don and Carissa Niemyer sold their previous shop in Portland, OR, they moved into an RV and traveled the nation, visiting coffee shops and getting ideas for their next endeavor. At several points along the way they met up with good friends and future business partners Brandon and Kelly Noffsinger, who were also traveling the nation visiting coffee shops. At one of these meet ups in Yellowstone Park, sitting around a campfire, they got the idea to merge their passion for living simple with their passion for sharing some of the excellent coffees they were discovering as they traveled, and the idea for Story Coffee Co. was born.
Tiny Houses have exploded in popularity over the past few years, culminating in TV shows and the first ever Tiny House Jamboree, attracting over 40,000 visitors to Colorado Springs last summer. A tiny house seemed a perfect fit for their vision, as did Colorado Springs.
“We were traveling the nation visiting amazing cities, and when we came through Colorado Springs we measured it through the lens of those experiences and realized it was the perfect place for us,” says Niemyer. “We love Colorado Springs! And we’re thrilled to be in the heart of downtown, which is experiencing an explosion of great new innovative businesses.”
The 160 square-foot Story Coffee was built by the owners themselves, using traditional construction methods: cedar siding, oak hardwood floors and handmade cabinetry, with a beautiful deck that doubles their seating space. To maximize the small space while creating a beautiful, high-end coffee shop, they turned to Robin Pasley Designs for interior design. A feature wall in the shop continues the ‘story’ theme, with photos and information about the coffee fields where the beans are grown. “Robin is a seasoned artist and friend who was able to take our ideas and bring a cohesive design together that really works,” said Niemyer.
Find Story Coffee Co.
120 E. Bijou Street, on the south side of Acacia Park in Downtown Colorado Springs.
For more information:
Interior Designer Robin Pasley: www.robinpasley.com
The Tiny House movement: www.thetinylife.com