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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, December 06, 2023

The Grace Coffee Company experience

Coffee, pastries, avocado toast. Acai bowls, mimosas, a Bernese Mountain dog. 

All of these can be found in one place: Grace Coffee Co. Now in two locations, with a third opening in May, Grace Coffee provides an experience in your visit, not just a coffee order. 

State Street holds Grace’s first location that opened last spring. Housed in the former hat shop, Sacred Feather, it is in exactly that: a house. The front steps of 417 State St. are adorned with iron railings still reminiscent of the previous business with a feather-shape on the sides. The feather doesn’t stand out, though. Grace Coffee’s aesthetic seems to welcome it right in. 

The next thing you spot walking up the stairs is the big puppy staring right at you through the door. His tail is most definitely wagging. His name is Pablo — Pablo Escobar in full — and he aids the feeling of home. A homey feeling accompanied by a trained service dog means more to a college student than perhaps any coffee shop owner would have planned for. Near an environment of high stress and possible anxiety-inducing atmospheres, a space enhanced with a comforting surrounding, kind employees and an animal trained to emotionally support may be just what one needs. 

The owners of Grace Coffee knew what they were doing in the design of this shop. 

“I also wanted to create an environment where people can really feel at home,” Marley Orr, co-owner with her fiance Carlos Falcon, told the Capital Times. “I know how important it is to have a place like that.”

This comes from the coffee shop experience Orr had where she used to work in Seattle before moving here. She would spend her days off still at the shop — it felt like home to her. Orr brought that same vibe to this coffee shop with an urban interior design and plenty of greenery on the tables and surrounding shelves. 

The seating is limited at the State Street location, but it feels very much like a home shared with others interested in the same things as you and going through the same studying grind. 

Let’s not forget about the main attraction: the menu. Their coffee menu is simple on the blackboard behind the counter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. You can find homemade coffee syrups to spruce up any of their espresso drinks. 

Their food menu is just as reliable as their coffee. It’s rather simple, laid out there on the written menu, but what is served to you is entirely more robust. Their avocado toast is a popular choice, including a thick piece of sourdough topped with fried eggs, balsamic vinegar, sesame seeds, lemon juice and of course, the avocado spread mixed with garlic salt and red peppers. The portion sizes at Grace are often large enough for patrons to request to-go boxes, as accounted for by frequent experiences with the toast and acai bowls. 

“I liked the idea of being able to have a small, solid menu of coffee and food where everything is really good, without getting too complicated,” Falcon told The Capital Times when describing the importance of having good coffee and good food. 

Grace Coffee Co. is highly recommended as it’s a hip spot to hang or study with a comfort dish and cup of joe — all while a dog’s snout pops up to your table to check on you every now and then. 

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