Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and immediately felt like you found a good one? Well, that’s exactly how I felt walking into 3 Cups in Holladay, Utah. This place was huge, yet clean and minimal at the same time. Skimming the surface you’d look around and say, “What could be so fascinating about white walls, concrete floors, and all this space?” Oh man, would you be mistaken!
This coffee shop pulled the blinders off for me. Everything in this coffee shop was done intentionally, making this one of my top favorite coffee shops. Very similar to a shop if I ever decided to open one. During my entire interview, this was never said out loud, but I could tell everything had a purpose. The owners built and designed 3 Cups for the coffee shop customer first and everything else followed. And by followed I don’t mean that anything fell behind with less value. The customers’ wants led the way on this build.
When the last customer in line ordered I made my way up to the counter to greet the barista taking orders. I explained to her what I was doing and she smiled, turned around, tapped on a tall gentleman’s shoulder, and said, “This is who you’d like to meet.” This was Derek, the owner of 3 Cups. The barista taking orders was Sarah and the barista slinging drinks was Brent’lee. They were pumped that I happened to stop by and share this experience with them. I was even more excited because they were eager to tell me about the shop. At this point, all I saw were those “white walls, concrete floors, and tons of space.” I was about to have my mind blown after learning just how cool this place truly was.
(Left: Brent'lee Center: Derek Right:Sarah)
The biggest take away from my interview was the word “community.” Everything seemed to branch off this word. This place was practically built for it. The massive space allows customers to spread out, work, hangout, and enjoy their days together. They even placed signs on their tables asking single customers to share tables, allowing strangers to enjoy a coffee together. 3 Cups has a sign that reads, “We love encouraging community and hope to always be the kind of place that makes room for everyone.” Maybe you don’t want to chat, but it allows someone to come over and share a booth with you and that alone is motivating. It’s like the feeling I get when someone gets on the treadmill next to me; now I really have to work!
They’ve been serving up coffee to the community for almost four years and they aren’t leaving anytime soon! They encourage you to use this space to get work done with their free WIFI, meet clients, or hang with friends. If you like the spot and need some room, you can reserve tables out for business meetings. And if you want to celebrate you can rent it out for meetings, workshops, book clubs, holiday or birthday celebrations, they have the perfect space for you.
Speaking of workshops, they offer some pretty great ones. This goes back to the whole community-focused mission of this coffee shop. They offer all sorts of workshops so be sure to check their website or bulletin board for more information. Right now on their website, they are advertising wreath building, leather journal making, delicate arch embroidery, and even a (monthly) wine tasting workshop. 3 Cups works with do-ers in the area that would like to teach an art or craft and helps coordinate the rest. There are, of course, workshops on coffee too. They did warn me that the workshops do sell out quickly – better hurry! Click on the link workshop to see what’s going on.
This was a prime choice: 3 Cups uses Blue Copper and La Barba as their roasters. Derek treated me to a coffee and I knew my day couldn’t get much better than this. Both of these roasters make some dang-good coffee. I was pleased to see that 3 Cups goes the extra mile to stamp their 3 logo on every cup. While I was walking around sipping my coffee I glanced over their merch wall, I mean I had to… 3 is one of my favorite numbers. I came across their own “vanilla latte” scented air fresheners and I don’t know why but it cracked me up, how genius. On my way out Derek insisted I take one to hang in the van. Get one – it smells amazing!
This wasn’t your average coffee shop style food. They have hired some outstanding chefs to create some amazing food back in that kitchen. Derek told me how important it is to him to balance high-quality coffee with high-quality food. They make all their food in-house. Some examples include gourmet toasts, acai bowls, cakes, cookies, scones, burrito bowls, and best of all gelato! There were 10 different flavors of gelato when I was there and you can even order it smashed between two fresh cookies! If you want to see some real food porn, check out their Instagram @3_cups_coffee and be sure to give them a follow.
The bathroom was clean, fully stocked, and had tons of room. No complaints, I think they should slap a 3 up on the wall though. For this I will rank it an 8/10.