Katie and I met in the summer in France, nearly 5 years ago. Little did we know at the time, we'd both find kinship through writing and adventures, even after the summer ended. I went back to Chicago and Katie returned to Colorado, and we didn't see each other for over 2 years. It was August and I was shooting a wedding in Colorado, so I asked Katie if I could stay with her for a few days and adventure together.
Driving through the mountains, she played me the Bleachers album and it has since become one of my favourite road trip albums. We went antiquing and bought rings. She took me to a small tattoo parlor and I got my nose pierced for $10.
When I decided to go to Colorado Springs again this week, Katie was one of the first people I texted.
"I'll take you to Story Coffee Company," she replied. I'd seen her and our friend Hannah post about the coffee shop and it sounded perfect. I agreed and we met at 1:30 in Acacia Park.
I parked by the park and scanned the surrounding buildings for the coffee shop. Little did I know that the coffee shop was right in the middle of the park itself. You see, the coffee shop is in a tiny house. Upon walking in, the small bar and ordering area is to your right. You can select a drink from the menu and I immediately noticed the branding and attention to detail.
The photo above is my favourite part of the menu: "We're delighted that you're interested in our story, and we hope to do justice to the stories of our coffees and the people who produce them. But please know we're fascinated with your story as well. Let's be friends." And this is why I immediately liked this cafe.
Katie and I both got the same drink. I don't remember what it was called (I was soaking the whole place in), but it was both beautiful and delicious.
Due to being in a tiny house, the seating is indeed limited: a few taller tables and a couple stools by the windows and a bench across from where you walk in, to the left of the bar. However, it wasn't absurdly busy, so Katie and I sat next to each other on the bench, "Live Your Best Story," arching like a promise or an omen above us.
Above the bench was this ledge full of bags of coffee and mugs, and above the ledge were photos. We met the barista Carissa and she explained to us that every coffee they carry was chosen with intention. They chose to partner with folks who are doing good in the world. They'd traveled to 300 coffee shops (pardon me if I didn't get the number quite right) and numerous places all over the world where the coffee was grown. They didn't take the task lightly and were very thorough, and you can taste it in the drinks and see it in the cafe.
Carissa had just bought airline tickets to Kansas City for the Barista Competition and I recommended she try out my favourite KC spot: you guess it--Doughnut Lounge. By then, we'd talked to her enough that I felt brave enough to ask this sweet soul for a portrait. That evening, I googled the cafe some more, and was continually intrigued by the process of both creating the coffee shop and sustaining it. Everything is done with great craftsmanship and detail and intentionality, and I'm thankful that such places exist and such friends as Katie know me well enough to introduce me to them.