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Latte with a Fat Ben's pastry / Image courtesy of Brick Coffee Company // Published: 10.30.17<p></p>

Brick Coffee Company Serves Cups Of Joe And The Community In Equal Measures

It’s your typical post-college story: five kids graduate from Mt. Vernon Nazarene, open a coffee shop next to a church, and share a duplex within walking distance of work. Okay, so it’s not exactly typical. It’s actually pretty singular and awesome.

Those five graduates — Dan Smith, Jenisis and Zack Clark, Dey’Veon Carter, and Nate Henderson — had a goal from the start: create a “third space” and focus on fostering community through building relationships. That's where Brick Coffee Company enters the story. Coffee shops are natural magnets for people seeking a place for business calls, study sessions, therapeutic coloring, story writing, and more. Brick is no exception to the rule.

The shop is located directly next to Springdale Nazarene Church in Norwood. When they were floating the idea of opening a coffee shop, SNC’s pastor caught wind of it and reached out to the group. Having a separate coffee facility that maintained a pleasant working relationship with the church was important, and Brick fit the bill perfectly.

The storefront is bright and airy with minimalist details and lots of succulents throughout. There are both communal and two-top tables as well as barstools at the bar, and a really cool community art board. Coffee is sourced from local roasters Pneuma Coffee with pastries from local outlets Fat Ben’s and Servatii. Drinks are listed on a carved wooden hanging menu next to the register, offering lattes (iced or hot), cappuccinos, cortados, mochas, pour-overs, and more. (The latte I had was delightfully creamy and paired nicely with a slice of Servatti’s cherry strudel.) An upgraded food license is in the works, which means sandwiches and other nibbles could be on the way.

As the founders intended, community was the thing that stood out the most upon my visit to Brick. Folks of all different ages were commingled throughout the shop, either talking to each other or intently focused while in their headphones. A woman at the bar struck up a conversation with me while I was chatting with one of the founders. I ran into another woman I knew at one of the communal tables on my way out, then she ran into someone else she knew.

If that kind of serendipitous community experience can happen in just an hour spent at Brick, I can’t wait to go back and see what happens next time.

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Brick Coffee Company is located in Norwood at 4424 Floral Ave (45212).