“People said if you want to do coffee, it had to be on a main road,” says George co-owner Christian Hemberger. But looking at available commercial space in strip malls and other traditional venues proved limiting—and expensive. “What we wanted to do just didn’t fit within those confines.”
Hemberger and his wife and co-owner, Laura, envisioned a specialty coffee experience that provided a space for community to gather. So, they decided to take a gamble: they asked the bank to approve them to serve as their own landlords, and requested the City of Coppell to rezone their residential property as commercial mixed use—the first of its kind in Coppell.
The bank and city approved, and the Hembergers began the multi-year process of transforming their home into a café and community space, opening the doors of George Coffee + Provisions in August.
The stately, white-paneled farmhouse occupies a corner of Main Street in Old Town Coppell, the city’s original downtown area. The revitalized neighborhood is also home to a park, farmer’s market, and collection of restaurants and retail shops, making it an ideal location for a homey café with abundant seating.
Inside, the decor is a combination of rustic and modern touches (see slideshow above). A sleek loveseat and chairs surround a brick fireplace, behind a set of french doors reveals a long community table, and cozy leather armchairs are tucked into corners lit with industrial lamps. A back courtyard is lined with picnic tables, where planter boxes teem with blossoms, and strings of lights glow overhead.
While the aesthetic of the space is impressive, the Hembergers put equal consideration into the menu details, which includes house-made syrups, local honey, and a range of beverages to suit a variety of preferences.
“We want to establish excellence and trust in whatever it is we offer,” Hemberger says.
George has welcomed a steady stream of customers since opening, from groups gathering for morning bible study, to students seeking a study nook, to couples enjoying a date night.
Hemberger says that the crowds have been encouraging, but what’s more satisfying is being able to provide a space to a community that has given his family so much. “We love people, and we’re loving people through good coffee.”
George Coffee + Provisions
462 Houston St., Coppell, Texas
Hours: 6 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday–Thursday; 6 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday;
7 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday; Closed Sunday
1) A Fellow Companion: The Curtis hot water tower is kept at 211 degrees Fahrenheit for the Fellow kettles used on the pour-over bar. By the time kettles are filled and transported to the manual brew bar, water is ready at 202 degrees.
2) See Food: A grab-and-go refrigeration unit displays locally made cold-pressed juices, ready-to-drink beverages, and prepared food, so customers can easily see what’s available.
3) Purposeful Pivot: An ice machine kept within close reach of the POS makes it easy for the register barista to quickly prepare iced drinks.
4) Not Too Tall: The twin one-gallon Curtis G3 batch brewer allows two different drip coffees to be featured, while occupying less vertical real estate than the popular 1.5-gallon edition of the brewer. George serves coffee from Edison Coffee Co., a local roaster.
5) Stay Grinding: George co-owner Christian Hemberger says they chose Mahlkönig’s Guatemala grinder over the sexier EK43 for its compatibility with space and budget. The “workhorse” is used for batch brew, cold-brew, and the pour-over bar.
6) Mix It Up: The centrally placed Blendtec blender is bar-flow friendly, while a sound shield minimizes noise disruptions. The neighboring dump sink is deep enough to rinse the pitcher without requiring an extra kitchen run.
7) Form + Function: The Square point-of-sale system was chosen for its simple aesthetic and familiarity to customers.
8) Low Means Go: The register and pick-up counters were lowered to 36 inches, designed to meet ADA guidelines. Hemberger says the varied levels have been helpful in directing customer flow.
9) Espresso Flow: The three-group Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine is flanked by a Mahlkönig K30 and a Mazzer electronic grinder, used for decaf. The grinder station provides extra space between the register and espresso baristas.
10) Perfect Pitcher: An in-counter pitcher rinser and a set of Rhinoware pitchers with Accutemp stick-on thermometers help to streamline espresso prep. The thermometers ensure consistent drink temperatures, essential for customers making the switch from corporate coffee giants known for speed and consistency.
The George Coffee + Provisions creation team:
Bill Peck (architect), Chris Raines (builder), Roots Coffeehouse (coffee consultants), Edison Coffee Co. (roasting partner), Dustin Lucas (interior design), Lawns of Dallas (landscape), Janna Tidwell Studio (landscape architecture), and Dana Pugh Designs (interior style).
This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Fresh Cup.