You know a girl can’t start her day off right without a strong cup of joe. Lucky for me, Key West is home to Coffee Plantation. Located at 713 Caroline St., Coffee Plantation is a coffee lover’s haven open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.. on Sundays.
Coffee Plantation owners Diane and Theo Glorie turned their dream of opening a coffee shop that would bring the island together in a community living room into reality when they opened the café in 2004. The bright and vibrant shop boasts an eclectic and colorful palette of art created by the owners — a passion and talent they discovered they shared ten years ago at a random art class. Ten years later, the couple still regularly attends a Tuesday night art class for their weekly date night.
All of the art at Coffee Plantation is for sale and is the perfect memento of Key West to take with you. The pieces scream Key West and bring the outside in. From colorful tropical foliage to classic Key West chickens, there is a masterpiece for everyone.
The artistic couple moved to Key West from Newport Beach, Calif., where they had a floral shop for over 15 years. After selling their business, they found themselves traveling the country for eight months until finally stumbling upon Key West.
As active members of the community, the couple knew they wanted to give back to the island with a business that would allow neighbors to mingle and people to grab a bite before departing on their morning voyage. The couple originally opened their now famous coffee shop on the corner of Petronia and Whitehead streets, but moved to Caroline Street a year and a half later and have been there ever since.
In a move rare even for a small place like Key West, you can find the dynamic duo of Diane and Theo working behind their counter every day. The pair give meaning to the term “mom and pop shop,” welcoming everyone who sets foot in their coffee shop with a smile and an eagerness to want to get to know you.
Everything at Coffee Plantation has been deliberately designed around the experience of community. Board games and books line the shelves, while cool tunes play in the background. You can hear stories being told and laughter filling the walls of the coffee-house. This is exactly what owners Diane and Theo envisioned when they opened their business — they want their visitors to strike up a conversation with a stranger or nestle in a corner with a good read. I don’t know about you, but life without coffee makes me feel depresso (get it?). If you’re like me and the millions of Americans who need to start their day off with a jolt, then you’ll appreciate the fact that coffee is life and life is coffee at Coffee Plantation.
Aside from treats of the liquid variety, the eco-friendly and organic coffee shop serves up a mean European-style breakfast with daily sweet and savory specials, from quiches and croissants to Danishes and homemade bread pudding. The owners bake their croissants, cookies and pastries in-house every morning starting at 5 a.m. The bagels are brought in from none other than Goldman’s bagels, so you know they’re delish. The light bite European-style breakfast is the perfect way to start any Key West day.
Diane and Theo are also environmentalists, so you can sip your organic Guatamalan Sumatra with ease knowing you’re saving the environment. As a brand philosophy, Coffee Plantation emphasizes using green, eco-friendly products. The straws and plates are vegetable-based and biodegradable, which means no plastic. The straws also last longer than paper straws and are much better for the environment than their plastic counterparts.
As I sink into a snug leather chairs to write this article, I smell the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and freshly baked pastries wafting in the air. For the last 15 years, this old Conch house has served as a community stomping ground for islanders and people passing through. It has a special energy to it that makes you want to slow down and meet your neighbor.
Aside from serving up organic joe and sinfully good treats, the couple also run a real estate office in the back of the shop. Theo, a buyer’s agent, aids those who fall in love with the island and want to hang out here on a more permanent basis. There’s no pressure and clients are encouraged to ask about topics they want to know more about.
With the comfiest porch on all of Caroline Street, it’s no wonder Coffee Plantation is the perfect spot to unwind and people watch. Remember: life happens, but coffee helps and Diane and Theo are always ready with a helping hand (holding a cup of coffee, naturally). ¦