We briefly highlighted Third Space Coffee back in the summer of 2017 and concluded that “northern COS is thirsty for good coffee and Third Space is here to deliver.” We speculated that after “some time of growing into their pants, remarkable things are certain to come.” Now, nearly three years later, it appears the cafe has done just that.
“The name comes from the sociology term, alluding to the first space being where you live, the second space being where you work, and the third space being your space of community,” explains Kitty Smith of Third Space Coffee.
“His vision for Third Space was to create a space where we could be more intentional with the community,” Smith tells us, referring to her father, Roland Smith, the founder and owner of Third Space and the worship pastor at Pulpit Rock Church. “This vision of intentionality with our customers includes trying to make this an inviting and welcoming place … not to necessarily be religiously missional, but to be more thoughtful in the way we interact with our community and speak into their lives.”
While coffee itself was not the driving force behind Smith’s vision, community mindedness was. “My dad didn’t go into it thinking, ‘Oh, I want to open a coffee shop.’ Instead, he wanted to find the best business that could reach the community.” Nonetheless, Smith did soon identify coffee as the best mediums for making his vision a reality.
Community involvement stands at the center of the Third Space’s ethos and business model, including offering the cafe as rentable space, live music on Friday nights, hosting the Latisha Hardy dance company for bi-monthly salsa and bachata, and curating a kid-specific room where families can relax.
“On this north side of town there are many families and the kids room has been very popular. A lot of moms will bring their kids in. And there have been stories of moms meeting here and now they get together weekly as friends,” says Smith.
The community feel is evident once you spend some time in the cafe. The baristas and customers alike are members of this community. “We have a lot of regulars now,” says Smith, “and we strive to remember their names and drink preferences so that we can have a starting point of relationship with them.”
Third Space has commenced their own coffee roasting program — “with a 6 pound roaster … the smallest roaster I’ve ever seen,” laughs Smith — yet they have retained the community-minded practice of offering guest roasters’ coffee at the brew bar. In this way, guests can enjoy a rotating variety of local coffees.
Further to Third Space’s strengths is the breadth of their beverage program. While coffee purists may sequester their tastes to industry stalwarts like the cappuccino and the espresso, the average customer wants to wander outside the classics for treats such as the accidentally created Frozen Hot Chocolate. “We forgot to put espresso in what was going to be a frappuccino and it was delicious. So we had to put it on the menu,” explained Smith. “It was an accident for sure, but it was a good accident.”
Whether you opt for a classic espresso drink, a frozen novelty, or even a glass of Palisade wine from their abbreviated wine list, you can find joy in knowing that, if you wish, you are more than a customer, but rather a member of a community.