Courtesy of Amanda Dansby / The Paisano
Local Coffee is a relatively new small business in San Antonio.
With two locations, one in Stone Oak, which opened about three and a half years ago, and the other in Alamo Heights that has been open for roughly 11 years, the small business is continuously growing.
Monica Olivo, a barista at Local Coffee and coffee enthusiast, explains what makes Local Coffee different from other coffee shops.
“There are so many coffee shops everywhere, but we really stand apart from many coffee shops in San Antonio. We’re in an industry called ‘specialty coffee,’ so our primary focus is the quality of the coffee and the quality of the products that we produce.
“We go through a lot of training. We’re not too concerned with making super crazy drinks; all of the drinks we offer are more traditional,” explains Olivo.
Local Coffee focuses on getting the best quality products for their coffee. Olivo states, “We only offer one house coffee that we brew on demand and have ready to go at any time.”
The house coffee is the result of a collaboration with a roaster in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Olivio explains.
They also offer a special menu that constantly changes with different varieties of coffee.
According to Olivio, Local Coffee works with small coffee farms that have been passed from generation to generation within families. These “single origin” coffees provide a very particular taste.
The menu frequently changes due to variety of coffee beans that are available to the shop. “There are about 20,000 different varieties of coffee,” says Olivo. “So, there are so many different outcomes you could get from the way you brew it, the way you grow it, the way you process it, and then the way you roast it.”
The quality of the beans and the attention that the roasters give to them makes the coffee noticeably special and unique.
In order to draw in more customers, Local Coffee has tastings every Wednesday. “It’s just fun to drink something and talk about it or not talk about it and just meet other people,” says Olivo. They also have events to raise awareness about the store.
This past February, Local Coffee hosted two events. One event, taking place at the Emplorium, consisted of a boutique style set up, while the other involved serving coffee at a donut cook-off. Olivo also says they participated in the San Antonio cocktail conference.
Local Coffee also hosts classes, aiming to educate and bring in the community, according to Olivo.
“We take a lot of pride in our community and keeping it grounded, and making sure that we are producing quality coffee and being able to have a conversation with our customers,” states Olivo.
The prices at Local Coffee are cheaper than most chain coffee stores, which is surprising considering the quality of the ingredients used.
Another great thing about Local Coffee is the atmosphere, which is very relaxing and friendly. The same can be said of the staff—“All of us love this job; it’s a really great job. We have an owner who’s very passionate and cares about us like we are a family,” gushes Olivo.
The seating arrangements inside and outside are very modern, yet comfortable. With bar-style seating, cushioned chairs and an outdoor patio, there are many different locations within the store to choose from. Free wi-fi and soft background music attract a wide variety of customers.
“We get new people in all the time—especially on the weekends. We also have a ton of regulars. It feels like every customer is a regular because we just see them so often—new people that come in end up being regulars after awhile. We’re so close to downtown that we’re drawing students in. We’re drawing in people that work in the area, people that are coming from downtown or going to the Pearl. We’re gaining a lot of traction in the community, just from students and people that like food and coffee.”
Call the Stone Oak location at 210-530-8740, the Alamo Heights location at 210-267-5494 or visit www.localcoffeesa.com for more information.