On the outskirts of Greer, South Carolina, the owner of the popular local coffee shop Barista Alley has teamed up with a family of tiny home builders to open a 500-square-foot second cafe called Barista Tiny, built within a tiny home.
Partnering with Barista Alley Founder Andrew Carter, the mother-daughter co-owners of the new shop, Mary Hanson and Melodia Aho, have previously built two tiny homes through their design company Olive Nest. The new coffee shop is located on the highway directly in front of Lake Walk Tiny Home Community, a housing development originally intended to be an RV park until Aho convinced her father, developer Randy Hanson, to go a more innovative route.
By urban coffee bar standards, Barista Tiny isn’t even all that tiny. The shop comfortably seats 15 people, with stylish lounge chairs and counter-height stools, and features a full suite of high-quality gear on a long U-shaped bar.
A Nuova Simonelli Mythos ClimaPro 2 espresso grinder fits without issue alongside a La Marzocco Linea PB ABR espresso machine; a Mahlkönig EK43 rises unobstructed to grind for cold brew and Fetco drip. Manual pourover service spreads out with support by Stagg EKG kettles and dual Baratza Forte grinders. However, Carter told Daily Coffee News that going from the 1,750-square-foot Barista Alley space to the inevitably compact Barista Tiny did require some strategic planning.
“Ease of movement… was super important in order to have the right bar flow,” said Carter. “On our grand opening we had seven employees and easily served over 1,000 people. If it wasn’t for the perfect design of the bar, it would not have worked.”
Tiny’s cozy, sleek and naturalistic interior conveys a more European vibe than its bigger and more modern-industrial predecessor. While in theory the tiny home cafe could have been cheaper to build than the downtown shop, it wound up being close to the same because Carter said they simply spared no expense in materials and design.
“We didn’t cheapen out on any detail,” said Carter. “Even are bathrooms are dreamy. The wood, counter tops, to the landscaping and even the speaker system. We did not want to cut any corners with this space.”
Considering what lies beyond its charming interior, Barista Tiny is actually huge. A fully-fenced courtyard includes about 20 more seats plus a few picnic tables, a play structure for kids and safe containment for off-leash pups. Neighbors from the nearby community of 50 homes can swing by for lawn games, and live music may be upcoming, Carter said.
Also on the near horizon is an in-house roasting operation. The same San Franciscan SF10 that was on display at the SCA Expo in Boston this past April has made its way to South Carolina and awaits installation in Barista Alley’s production space. Sample roasts have already started on the company’s new Ikawa roaster.
Barista Tiny is open now at 2901-2983, N Highway 101 northwest of Greer, South Carolina.