There’s a brand-new coffeeshop in Downtown Inman, and InTheBurg is bringing you the espresso scoop. Meet The Upstate Coffee, their cozy menu, baristas, and their newly-renovated shop space.
The Upstate Coffee’s location in historic downtown is convenient to City of Inman’s Main Street, at 14 Mill Street, and is surrounded by plentiful, free street parking. The 100-year-old building was in rough shape pre-renovation, but now features a fresh look inside and outside, as well as a large, paved patio with outdoor seating.
Owners Mariia “Mary” Kolpakova, Lana Divinets, and their husbands are originally from the West Coast, and moved to Inman in search of warmer and dryer weather roughly two years ago. Both Mary and Lana are new to the coffee and service industry business, but wanted to bring a glimpse of their traveling experience to Inman. “We wanted to create a cozy space with good vibes for people to hang out. Plus, living in Europe gave us ideas of how we can introduce coffee to this area,” Kolpakova said.
The faces you see behind the bar joined the TUC crew from all levels of experience, but all have a passion for coffee and serving the community.
The open, airy shop is both cozy and industrial, featuring original brick walls, wooden tables and bar-tops, metal detailing, and a large garage door in the center of the main cafe wall. For seating, choose from barstools lining the windows, two-top tables and bench seating, a tall community table for groups, and two couches and armchairs in the upper mezzanine-level nook.
One of the coziest spaces in the shop is family-friendly, with two armchairs, a children’s table, and multiple books and games, surrounding a stone electric fireplace.
Okay, so now that you’ve seen the space, we know you’re really reading to hear about the drinks. And boy, does The Upstate Coffee have some delicious ones to choose from!
The large menu has a multitude of hot and cold drinks, with both your traditional coffeeshop menu items such as lattes, americanos, and iced coffee, and unique non-coffee offerings such as “Italian Lemonade” and “The Peach Panther,” a fruity energy drink with Red Bull. Drinks are available in 8oz, 12oz, and 16oz varieties, with customizable flavor options.
We tried a variety of delicious offerings while “chilling” at The Upstate Coffee writing this here article, including an 8oz latte, 12oz house drip, two macaroons, butter croissant, and 12oz caramel iced latte, (not pictured.)
TUC brews Coava Coffee, a Portland-based roasting company. You can order a variety of single-origin roasts or coffee blends on The Upstate Coffee’s menu, including 12oz pourover coffees. For the house drip, you can sip the S.O. Blend, a rich and chocolatey medium roast of East African origins, with notes of honeycrisp apple, dark caramel, and chocolate-covered fruits. Like what you taste? Take a bag of Coava Coffee beans home to brew.
As the only coffeeshop in the area, The Upstate Coffee both fills a community need and provides an example to other potential small business owners. “We are hoping that after our experience more people will see that small towns have a lot of potential for opening a new business,” Kolpakova said. “We hope to be a good example to others to not be afraid to start something new.”
The community enthusiasm so far as been wonderful to see. The Upstate Coffee held their official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, October 30th, with live music and drink specials. Prior to opening, the business’ doors were open to community members to familiarize themselves with the new shop, with complementary drinks while baristas practiced preparing the new menu items, until roughly a week before the official opening.
When InTheBurg visited the cozy spot, a steady line of customers streamed in for their afternoon caffeination. College students on laptops, mom groups meeting after school pickup, young families, and teens doing homework all gathered in the shop– both sipping from counters and couches, and ordering multiple drinks to-go for friends.
Visit The Upstate Coffee at 14 Mill Street, and let us know what you think! The shop is open seven days a week:
Monday – Friday: 6am – 8pm
Saturday: 7am – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm
Regular community events include Food Truck Fridays with live music and artist pop-ups, guided painting nights on the patio, and Mill Street block parties.