At some point, we’re going to need a name for the modern coffee shop/office hybrid: the retail spaces designed for business incubation and meetings that place equal emphasis on coffee service.
The latest in this growing category is The Trade Coffee & Coworking, which has a wholesale relationship with Blue Bottle Coffee inside a 4,000-sqare-foot cafe and meeting facility in Midtown Sacramento, Calif. (In related news, Blue Bottle last week was announced as the coffee provider for Hanhaus, a 15,000-square-foot coffee/tech hub hybrid.)
Created by Amanda Sanders and Matt Kennedy, The Trade is billed as “an express coffee shop and a co-working experience.”
As the owners describe it, “The Trade Coffee & Coworking is indeed a cafe — but instead of simply providing internet access, The Trade offers patrons access to a complete array of business resources.” Compare this a similar, 17-location concept in five countries called Urban Station, which describes itself as “not a coffee shop” and “not an office.” As described by the company, “It is something much better than both things together.”
It is neither. It is both. Again, we need a name for these things.
The Trade includes numerous types of closed-door and open meeting spaces, conference rooms and presentation areas, all appropriately wired, lit, wi-fi’d and outfitted as one might expect in a progressive office. Through a partnership with LiquidSpace and a Square-based payment system, visitors can purchase any number of space-access packages, from $8-per-hour drop-ins to monthly private offices with conference room access.
Powering it all, metaphorically, is the coffee bar, where Blue Bottle-trained baristas are serving espresso drinks, a New Orleans-style iced coffee and filter drip coffees. Freeport Bakery is providing baked goods.
We love the fact that the workspace retail segment is underscoring the influence of the coffee retail segment, and look forward to more evolutions in the not-quite-cafe-not-quite-office-but-really-both segment.