There are many welcoming mom and pop establishments in Key West and since 2004 the Coffee Plantation on Caroline Street has been a local favorite. Theo and Diane Glorie have transformed a former home into a charming coffee shop and bakery where you will find the owners behind the counter.
“It is either Diane or myself or my sister-in-law Loretta,” Theo says. “Then you know it’s going to be good. Most of the time when you walk in there will be something baking in the oven whether it be muffins or cookies or scones and croissants.”
One of the things that sets mom and pops like Theo’s and Diane’s apart is that they not only believe in making things from scratch, but they are conscious of the environment and their impact. From recyclable plates, you can bite into one of their fresh out of the oven pastries or their homemade quiche. From biodegradable straws you can sip on an iced island-inspired tropical macchiato made with organic espresso, vanilla, coconut and your choice of milk. Sit back into one of the sunken leather couches and start your day by relaxing. Then gleefully pat yourself on the back for supporting these hard-working entrepreneurs while also fighting pollution. It’s the American dream in action.
“Sometimes I want that big breakfast,” Theo admits, “but sometimes I just want to have a cup of coffee and a muffin.”
Theo is also happy to assist you with real estate if you happen to be in the market. In a room that may have previously been the kitchen he has set up a professional office where he sells historical houses in Old Town Key West. Adjacent to the office is a space that I imagine was the dining room and then near the front door the living room. A few tables and couches are arranged within walls so brightly hued that they remind me of a Rubix cube. There is a counter in the room on the right where you can window shop your breakfast while right behind you the retro vibe of soda coolers rounds out the whole mom and pop vintage feel. As if that isn’t enough of a cozy vibe, colorful artwork by both Theo and Diane hangs from floor to ceiling and is available for purchase if you are in the market. So, you can purchase a house, art to hang on the walls, and get coffee and fresh pastries all in the same location. How is that for a uniquely Key West story?
“Before Key West we had a flower business in Southern California and after many years were given an opportunity for the next step in our life. We knew we wanted to create something that is totally ours,” Theo remembers. “We wanted to do something different and always enjoyed the customer aspect. This (Coffee Plantation) gave us the chance for social interaction.”
When their original concept of an internet café became a passing phase with the invention of smart phones, they knew they had to do something different to keep things going. So, they enrolled at the Studios of Key West and discovered a talent in self-expression through painting. Theo went back to school and earned real estate a license that allows him to go the extra mile for the people who walk through the door. And here they are 14 years later, through the sweltering summers and the chilly 60-degree winters making fresh coffee and baked goods.
Coffee Plantation is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Parking is provided for customers. ¦
Coffee Plantation 305- 295- 9808 www.coffeeplantationkeywest.com