At most coffee shops, you enter anonymously and exit anonymously. Somewhere in between, you grab a coffee. But not so at Fourteen Eighteen Coffeehouse. Owner Melissa Owen chats with every single person that walks in. She asks your name. If you’ve stopped in before, she’ll remember you. And when you leave, you’ll probably get a hug.
Melissa decided a couple of years ago, with the support of her husband Gerry, a pastor, to leave her nursing career behind and pursue her dream of owning a coffee house. After all, this is a woman whose happy place has always been a book store with a cup of coffee, and who married her husband in a coffee shop. After a mentorship with another successful coffee house and an education at “coffee school,” Melissa and Gerry leased their current space on K Avenue in downtown Plano.
Fourteen Eighteen Coffeehouse opened last July and immediately became a local favorite, benefitting from the ever-increasing foot traffic in downtown Plano. After being open only a few months, the shop was nominated as one of Dallas’s best places for coffee in D Magazine’s Best of Big D 2014.
Some coffee shops give you the vibe that you’re not cool enough to be there, but Fourteen Eighteen’s staff of experienced baristas always make you feel welcome. Regulars of the shop are a varied bunch, including businessmen in ties conducting a lunch meeting, artists sketching away for hours, and students lounging on couches to study. The Owens and their staff lovingly call the shop’s groupies “fourteen eighteen…eers.”
All along, Melissa’s purpose was to build an environment where people could “create moments that celebrate life.” The result is an inviting space: an eclectic mix of lived-in couches and chairs that the Melissa and Gerry collected from consignment stores, paired with cool architectural details original to the 1917 building, like the tin ceiling tiles (painted peacock blue), exposed brick wall on one side, and original wooden plank wall on the other side.
And the coffee. Their motto is “stupid awesome coffee” and they hit the nail on the head. Customers can choose from the espresso bar, the slow bar (with several types of pour-over coffee), a french press, or good old drip coffee. Beans are from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, so you get to support another DFW business. Fourteen Eighteen also serves other local goodies, including Fusion teas from McKinney, and Emporium pies from Oak Cliff. This summer they began serving beer and wine and extended their weekend hours, allowing them to showcase local bands from time to time.