Do you have a favourite local independent coffee shop? Perhaps it’s located near to where you live, close to your office, or handily placed near the school where you drop off your kids each morning.
You might use it as a quick early pitstop or treat it as a remote workspace for a leisurely afternoon session on your laptop. Some local coffee shops are so popular they attract customers miles out of their way to indulge in their quality brew.
As independent businesses, the local coffee shop doesn’t enjoy the large financial safety net of the big chains. These small operators can’t spend big amounts of money on advertising or marketing, so they tend to rely on word of mouth to attract new customers. With that in mind – and as fellow fans of the coffee bean – we think they deserve some special attention.
So let’s look at 3 great reasons why you should support your local coffee shop….
1. They make great coffee!
For many of us, this is the most important test of all. Does your local coffee shop take care to listen to your order, serve your drink without spilling, and – right at the top of the list – make a great tasting coffee? The best local coffee shops do all of these things.
Attention to detail is in their DNA. The best local coffee shops are run by dedicated coffee connoisseurs, people who live and breathe coffee all day long. The owners often love nothing better than sharing stories about the coffee journey from tree to cup, and they can happily chat for hours on the finer points of the roasting process if you care to ask. Their passion for the topic of coffee translates into delicious drinks crafted with immense love and care
Unlike the big chains, a local coffee shop doesn’t have to follow rigid corporate rules or a standardised menu – they can be creative! You’ll often find examples of rare, small-batch coffee beans sourced from different parts of the world. Local coffee shops can also afford to be experimental with their brews, adapting to the very latest coffee trends. Papaya White Choc Cold Brew Latte, anyone?
And while chains have the entire corporation to fall back on when times get tough, an independent owner has only themself to rely on. So it’s in the owners best interest to provide you with the best possible customer service. Remember – their livelihood depends on your repeated visits and positive reviews!
2. They really make you feel at home
One thing is for sure – the best local coffee shop fills you with good feelings the moment you walk through the door.
A local coffee shop isn’t just there to provide a delicious brew, of course – it also serves as a cosy meeting place for the community, a pleasant spot where you can relax and chill with friends over a latte or cappuccino without having to travel far from home.
There has to be a feel-good factor to make you want to hang out frequently in a local coffee shop. This is created with distinctive interior styling and décor, perhaps a sprinkling of vintage furnishings and interesting artworks on the wall. The comfort level of a local coffee shop is very important, unless you just want to grab a quick takeaway cuppa.
Some shops might have sofas to relax on, just like your living room at home. The best coffee shops often play the music you’d happily listen to on your own home stereo. Everything combines to create the unique character of the establishment, just like how a kopitiam evokes nostalgia.
3. They put something back into the community
Each time you visit your local coffee shop you’re putting a little money back into your local community. Research suggests significantly more money stays in a community when purchases are made at locally owned – rather than big chain-run or franchised – businesses.
Local businesses are more likely to use other local businesses such as service providers and suppliers, too. Local businesses are owned and operated by folks living in your neighbourhood, so you can safely assume that they care deeply about the well-being of your community and its future.
Your custom is supporting local employment and bringing life and vibrancy to the neighbourhood. A successful local coffee shop might encourage other businesses to start up in the area too, boosting the local economy in the process.
And last, but certainly not least, think of the environment – a small local business like a coffee shop is likely to have a smaller carbon footprint than larger chains.
Thinking of which local coffee shop to visit during the weekend? Here are six specialty roasters in Singapore and Malaysia for you to get your caffeine fix.