A Cup Of Common Wealth

EMBRACE COMMUNITY. SERVE OTHERS. CREATE CULTURE.

A SHORT STORY

Ever since he was a little boy there was always coffee around Salvador. Coffee was a part of his parents’ daily morning ritual; there were few days that went by that they didn’t have a cup of coffee shortly after waking up.

Though, his actual love for coffee came from two very communal and familial experiences.

The first: every Saturday morning his parents would let any of their six kids have one cup of coffee if they wanted (in the beginning it was mostly milk, but as each child grew older the milk to coffee ratio changed quite a bit). Then they would spend the morning talking for hours as a family, sharing life.

The second: the occasions when one of his grandmothers would visit. Both his maternal and paternal grandmother loved their coffee and both would sit with his parents and drink cup after cup. He would usually be able to steal some and listen to conversations thick with Spanish and nostalgic stories.

The people, the experiences, and the community of coffee are what drew him in, but it remained a passion and hobby as he was trying to decide what he wanted to do in life. He always felt compelled to open a business and he loved the service industry, so he always imagined a restaurant or a bar.

Then he got his first job and it was with coffee; naturally he added a third possible business into the mix. He may not have decided what he wanted to do, but he knew he wanted to open a business, so he began to save thanks to the advice from his parents.

As he grew up he would become more and more intrigued with the coffee industry and paid attention to the rise of Starbucks and the Third Wave Coffee Movement shortly after. He eventually found his way into the doors of Water Street Coffee Joint. It is there he made up his mind to open a coffee shop. He fell in love with the business, the people in it, the industry it was a part of, and the culture they created. Still he knew he had to keep growing and preparing for a shop of his own someday. And, he saved.

By the end of college, one of his closest friends and him began looking at cities to open a coffee shop in; Louisville, Detroit, Chicago, and different areas in Southwest Michigan kept popping up. Nothing felt completely right and they decided against it for the time being. So, he saved.

He would then move to Texas where he worked for two different corporations, which helped round out his business acumen in national multi-unit operations, marketing, purchasing, merchandising, finance, human resources & talent brand, design & planning, and strategy. It also brought him more into the coffee industry’s circle and allowed him to network and grow his own coffee family. He saved some more.

As more time passed, he became more steadfast in a dream: to create a business that was true to its mission day in and day out; a small company, but one that embraced its community, ensured service was top of mind, and had the ability to create a culture.

Market research began and one city made more sense than any other one. A name was created that best fit the mission.

He took the plunge and moved to Lexington, KY.

Within a few months, they were ready to: Embrace community. Serve others. Create culture.

A Cup of Common Wealth opened its bright blue door on July 1, 2013.

1 review

  1. Time of Visit: Saturday morning
    Drink: Americano (Hot, “Medium”)
    Atmosphere:
    Similar to the last place I reviewed (Common grounds), the furniture and décor sort of has a “look at all this cool shit I found at a garage sale / flea market” feel to it. There’s a record player with a stack of vinyls next to it, a bourbon barrel converted into a shelf, etc. Nothing matches, but every individual piece is interesting (for the most part), so it works. It also provides an opportunity to experience several different visual settings in a relatively small space. I could imagine coming in in for several days in a row, choosing a different seat and feeling as if I was in a different coffee shop.
    The one theme that is apparent throughout the space is a sense of community. Not just in a “we love Lexington / Kentucky” type of way, but also in a more abstract sense. There is a “pay it forward” board, there are photography prints on the wall available for a “suggested donation” of $10, and a large interior window doubles as an event calendar for events around the city.
    Being a local-focused coffee shop is not a new or uncommon idea, but here it feels more genuine than your typical coffee shop. If you’re seeking something with more of an upscale look than this might not be your best option, but it definitely has its own charm.
    I had heard it can get crowded, but at 9 am there were only a few other people there. It seemed to have a steady flow of patrons, but a lot of them were getting coffee to go so seating was pretty open throughout the entire morning.
    Service:
    Great. The girl who took my order made some pleasant small talk, and seemed surprisingly alert for a Saturday morning. The person ahead of me ordered several drinks, so it took a few minutes to get mine but the barista delivered the drink to my seat. I saw them do this for others too, which I think is a pretty nice touch (especially if you’re there to check reddit do work and want to get started right away).
    The coffee:
    I ordered a medium Americano (hot). I couldn’t see my drink being made, but based on taste I would guess the espresso/water ratio is almost 1 to 1, with a slight push towards more water. They’ll ask you if you want your drink for here or to go, since I ordered mine “for here” it came in a wide, shallow mug.
    I realize I’ve yet to visit too many coffee shops in town, but this is the best Americano I’ve had in recent memory. It was served hot, but not too hot to drink. The flavor was nutty, with a mildly tangy/sour finish, almost fruity. It is not a weak drink, but it is mellow enough to be enjoyed by those who prefer traditional drip coffee.
    There were a few traces of coffee grounds in the bottom of the drink. Not a big deal, but this also happened to me at Common Grounds, leading me to wonder why it’s such a common problem.
    The verdict
    The best coffee I have had in Lexington…so far. Lost a few points for having a few grounds in the cup, but the first 99% of the drink was excellent.
    Misc. Notes:
    -It’s dog friendly! Or at least someone brought their dog inside…
    -I also ate one of their scones – after finishing the coffee… It was good not great. I didn’t see a price but after doing the math it probably set me back like $3, so not something I’m dying to come back for.
    -They sell lots of brewing equipment here (Chemex, Aeropress, French press etc.)
    -They have wifi, but the network was password protected and I was feeling lazy so I used a TWC hotspot instead. (Side note – does anyone know why there are so many TWC networks around here? Not complaining, just curious).

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Mon - Fri: 6am - 7pm Sat - Sun: 7am - 7pm
Eastern Avenue 105
Lexington 40508 KY US
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