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They believe in Irmo. local coffee roaster looks back at the first 10 years, a place in the community

10 years on, Irmo roaster, which started in a humble stall, is one of the Midlands’ most popular coffee brands.

Loveland Coffee, which opened a sparkling new coffee shop and roasting location in Irmo in the fall of 2020, will celebrate its first decade there this weekend with a party. Festivities will include live music, free food and giveaways.

Looking back during an interview with the Chronicle, married owners Beach and Jessica Loveland emphasized the importance of community to them and their business.

“We built a relationship with our customers over time with a two- or three-minute response time,” Beach said of the kiosk, which still operates in the mall’s parking lot at 7001 St. on Andrews Rd. “We were very pleased that we were able to grow that community over the eight years leading up to it.”

The brick-and-mortar operation, which occupies 7475 Carlisle St. The completely renovated building at adds to this emphasis on community, and Bogh, certified as a master roaster by the Specialty Coffee Association, offers regular “brew school” courses at the coffee shops. A coffee break and shop opening for Irmo, with live music and trivia nights, yoga and journaling classes, among other offerings.

“The goal was what you see now,” Beach said, sitting in the cafe’s spare conference room. “This is the meeting place in Irmo.”

Finding and emphasizing that community in Irmo in particular has been huge for the Lovelands. Lifelong residents of the town have decorated the exterior of their long-standing brick-and-mortar store with a mural that proudly proclaims: “I BELIEVE IN IRMO!”

The couple said that as Beach’s reputation as a roaster grew, they received offers to move the operation to downtown Columbia, which they acknowledged would be easier than building their own space in Irmo.

“We want to invite other businesses who want to be here as well to see how special it is here and how great the community can come together around a business,” Beach said. “Especially when you come in and do everything right and treat the community right and want to do the best you can for them.”

The coffee landscape in the Midlands has grown exponentially since the Loveland roasting operation took off 10 years ago, with several new, locally owned shops popping up across the area, including another Irmo shop, Tribal Coffee, opening in 2021 :

Beach said she’s happy for the role she’s played in helping her community learn more about the nuances of coffee, adding that it’s important to meet people where they are and not make them feel worse about their coffee preferences.

“If they drink it with cream and sugar, we’ll make you the best coffee you’ve ever had with cream and sugar,” said the roaster. “But then maybe next time, like, ‘Hey, we’ve got this natural coffee that, if you brew it, is naturally very sweet, and you can just try it,’ and then give them a little sample.” and they kind of work their way up.”

Beach and Jessica said they have no plans to part with the booth they started with, stressing that the road crossing, which many local coffee shops and most local Starbucks lack, remains a benefit.

“If sales were terrible, we would reevaluate,” Jessica said of the booth. “As a mother, I have three small children and I don’t get out of the car to take my three children for coffee. So for the convenience factor, it’s very important.”

Unsurprisingly, for a coffee business that took eight years to open its first proper store, the Lovelands say they will remain intentional as they look at future growth opportunities. Possibilities are in their minds. they talked about redesigning processes so that everything was not “100%, top to bottom” up to them, and they appreciated their staff for helping them with this, but they didn’t mention anything specific. plans.

The most important thing is to maintain the excellence of their product and the connection with the community. Whatever growth is possible from that, they will take.

“We want to do it as well as we can,” Jessica said, “and not just go, say, “And then we’ll open up here.”