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Cottonwood Holladay Journal

Local coffee shops fuel the neighborhood

Oct 04, 2018 11:23AM ● By Jana Klopsch

Local coffee shops offer a place to meet or work. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Coffee shops can play an important part in a person’s day and in creating shared space in the community. A number of local coffee shops have taken root in Cottonwood Heights to give people a place to meet, get work done and get refreshed.

The local coffee shops of Cottonwood Heights offer a unique blend of atmosphere and stories. From a veteran-owned shop that opened its doors just last year to a drive-through location that has served the community for over 20 years, the shops combine to serve a range of interests and tastes.

Mosen Panah, the owner of Bengal Coffee, which opened earlier this year on Bengal Boulevard, chose to establish his business in Cottonwood Heights because it’s his home community. He lives in Cottonwood Heights, and his family runs the coffee shop together. “We have a lot of repeat customers,” Panah said. “To me, it’s the neighborhood that supports us most.”

Bengal Coffee on Bengal Boulevard. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

 Coffee and Cocoa has been owned and operated by Preston Stobbe for four years since he acquired the location in the Old Mill area from Silver Bean Coffee. “It’s a great area of the valley near the canyon,” said Stobbe. “We still offer Silver Bean Coffee because it brings such a good reputation, and it’s locally roasted.”

For those in a hurry, the drive-through coffee shop Java Jo’s has had a location on Highland Drive north of Fort Union Boulevard for over 20 years. Customers can pick up a drink on their way to or from I-215. Just up Fort Union from there is Beans & Brews.

Like Bengal Coffee, another relative newcomer is Alpha Coffee on Racquet Club Drive near Fort Union Boulevard. The company is owned by Carl Churchill and his wife, Lori. They started selling coffee online in 2010 and opened the shop in June 2017. “Everyone said the coffee is so good, you should open a coffee shop,” Churchill said. “We wanted to be near the gates of the Cottonwood playground, and it’s been great.”

Alpha Coffee also prides itself as a veteran-owned business that supports veteran causes, including shipping coffee to deployed troops. “We are now close to 14,000 bags of coffee that we’ve sent down range,” Churchill said.

The reasons for choosing a regular coffee shop can vary from customer to customer. Proximity is an important factor. Coffee and Cocoa’s Stobbe cites the nearby Old Mill office buildings as a major source of customers. Alpha Coffee’s Churchill chose his location for its proximity to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (and his home). Another reason to keep returning to a favorite coffee shop is familiarity. Churchill said his company focuses on training. “Our goal is that every customer has a memorable experience,” he said. “We know their drink, their name, we truly are a local coffee shop.”

Bengal Coffee’s Panah cites their handcrafted coffee and food as a key selling point. “We accommodate the customer the way they want,” he said. Panah and his family even make food like banana bread fresh each day. “You bake from the heart,” Panah said of the food his wife prepares.

For Coffee and Cocoa, it’s about atmosphere. “We have tall ceilings and long windows that give our location an open feel,” Stobbe said. “It almost feels like you’re outside. It provides a good atmosphere for our baristas as well.”

Coffee plays an important part of life in Cottonwood Heights. With a variety of locations, offerings and atmosphere, the coffee shops of Cottonwood Heights help keep the community fueled.