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New Tabernash coffee shop keeps things Simple

Inside Simple Coffee Co. are all the staples of a traditional cafe — an espresso machine, coffee beans lining the walls, a menu of lattes and cappuccinos — except customers won’t find a single paper cup or plastic lid.

Opened by locals Olivia and Anthony Youngs, the new coffee shop in Tabernash focuses on sustainability and reducing waste, so instead of paper cups, drinks are served in reusable glass jars.

“I promised myself at the beginning that I wouldn’t open a coffee shop if I couldn’t do it as sustainably as possible,” Olivia Youngs said. “The thought of sending my customers out with a paper cup every single time, I can’t do it.”

Simple’s menu offers traditional espresso drinks, as well as seasonal flavors, featured roasteries, tea and local add-ins, such as honey from the Tabernash Honey Co. The store opened officially in November.

“We have a really pared down menu that focuses on coffee in its simplest forms, so that people can really taste the coffee,” Olivia explained.

The Details…

What: Simple Coffee Co.

Where: 190 County Road 822, Tabernash

When: 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekdays; 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekends; closed Wednesdays

More info: Simplecoffeetabernash.com

Olivia grew up in Grand County and dreamed of opening a shop in Tabernash, so when the opportunity to put up her cafe in the historic Morgan Mercantile building arose, she jumped on it.

“I had always thought this building would make a really cute coffee shop,” Olivia said. “I’m trying to cultivate a space that feels clean and inviting without feeling cluttered.”

As a sustainable fashion and clean living blogger, Olivia had an idea of where to eliminate waste in her shop. Though the cafe isn’t completely zero waste, Olivia uses reusable materials whenever possible and is conscience of the products she uses, even down to the chemical free cleaning supplies.

Because Simple is different from other coffee shops in its sustainability efforts, the Youngs were worried about how customers would react. Luckily, most customers have not minded the lack of paper cups or straws, Anthony Youngs said.

Aside from the earth-friendly mission of the shop, Simple is the only coffee shop in Grand County to offer Counter Culture coffee and to use the Decent espresso machine, which can be calibrated to different pressures and heat for each coffee bean.

“Our goal and our focus is really good and quality coffee,” Anthony said.

That intentional attitude stretches into the atmosphere of the store, which is bright, minimal and welcoming. Olivia noted that she hopes to expand the shop to have more seating and some food options to make it a community space.

“Throughout college, I would spend a lot of time at coffee shops doing homework and it always felt like a home away from home,” she said. “I just fell in love with the coffee culture and the atmosphere of coffee shops.”

Anthony echoed that goal and added that he would ultimately like to have a mobile version of the shop or open another location in Grand to reach more of the locals, second homeowners and visitors.

“We really like that people end up opening up over coffee and that sense of community,” he said.


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