It’s recommended to grab a cup of Methodical Coffee before reading this blog post. OK, ready? Now let’s continue. You know them for their coffee, but there’s another other side of the story you probably didn’t hear. Methodical opened it’s doors in February 2015 and was built with collaborations from David Baker, Will Shurtz and Marco Suarez. To introduce them briefly, David handles their operations, Will is their roaster and coffee leader and Marco manages the brand and the cafe experience. We recently got the chance to sit down for a cup of coffee with Marco and learn more about Methodical’s creation. Now let’s meet the other side of Methodical Coffee, Marco Suarez.
360: How did Methodical Coffee get started?
Marco: It was back when Will was doing Vagabond Barista. I met him when he was getting all of that going. I volunteered to do his branding for Vagabond and I thought he was a really cool guy. I didn’t end up meeting David until after we started talking about doing the coffee shop. I was living in Atlanta at the time and had that entrepreneurial itch! I wanted to do something that was different from my entire career (all on the internet) and that was in real life. I wanted something where I could control the branding and experience. I immediately thought of Will as a person to do this with. So I texted him “hey, you wanna open a coffee shop?” and he flippantly responded “yeah, sure!” without knowing it was a real proposal.
How Methodical started continued…
Marco: So I would come to Greenville, we’d meet up and chat. I kinda never thought it would actually happen, but why not see how far down the path we could get! Then Will brought David in and we all started to discuss the question “what if we started a coffee shop?” What would it look like? We then realized our visions were all in alignment, which was such a great indicator. Also our skill sets were complimentary and not redundant. Then we just keep pushing and doors kept opening! It definitely wasn’t the easiest in the least bit, but we just kept pushing. At that point, we thought to ourselves we’ve come further than most when trying to start a business, so why not keep going. And now we’re headed into year 3 this February!
360: What’s next for Methodical Coffee?
Marco: We’re still trying to figure that out! One thing for me is that we have a tight understanding of what our vision is. If we could see into the future 10 years from now… what do we want to be? What are we achieving? So I’ve been writing out what our vision statement will be. What strategies are we using to get there? What is our big picture goal? And then go from there to dictate our next step(s). We definitely want to open more locations. We want to get more into the roasting (That’s been doing really well so far. We’ve been selling lots of bags of coffee) and we want to get into other products like cold brew (among many more ideas.) The main thing is we want to be integral part of the community we’re in. I want an authentic vision. I don’t want to just sell a bunch of coffee. We want to add value to the community. So it’s identifying the right kind of communities we can sell to and being that “third place” like Starbucks says. It’s not home, it’s not work… it’s the third place. Coffee shops have been that from its existence, so it’s not just a Starbucks thing! They’ve always been that “meeting place”.
What’s next continued…
Marco: We’re focused on getting this coffee shop (in Greenville) to be the model that we want to replicate. We’re also working on producing our own food in-house, which has been a scary process (as none of us have any experience in food!) But luckily we have a lot of friends that we know like Greg McPhee from The Anchorage (who has been consulting with us.) And lastly, something immediate is that we just started serving beer and wine! So Community Tap has been very helpful in guiding us to where we are now.
360: What’s your go-to Methodical order?
Marco: I usually always in the mornings get a 6oz coffee with milk, which is basically a Cappuccino (it’s a good breakfast item because it’s filled with local dairy.) And then in the afternoons I get an Iced Americano. It’s just a nice and refreshing drink!
360: Tell us a good story (untold maybe) on how Methodical came to be.
Marco: Oh man. When we were looking for locations and raising funds, people would look at us like we were crazy when we said we’re opening a coffee shop. Banks wouldn’t give us the time of day. I remember one moment, when we were pretty discouraged, telling David and Will that if we could get over this hurdle we’d make it further than most people trying to start a business. Shortly after that, we had a meeting with Hughes Development Corporation to look at a location in the Bank of America Financial Center (the space we ended up taking.) We were going into that meeting very guarded, but a mutual friend told us just to be ourselves put our cards on the table. Bob, and his son Robert, were quick to get our vision and understood what we wanted to create. Other than our friends, they were the only ones who got it initially. To find a landlord who is not only easy to work with, but is also excited about what you’re creating is very rare. That gave us the encouragement we needed.
360: Outside of Methodical Coffee are there any other coffee shops that stand out to you? The style, brand, design etc.
Marco: The thing I look for in branding is authenticity. What are you communicating through your design? One in particular in Greenville is The Village Grind. Lindsey Montgomery (the owner) has done a beautiful job with the space. Her space feels like her! Once you experience The Village Grind and you have met Lindsey you just know it’s a consistent brand. Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse out in Travelers Rest also has a clear vision of who they are and they communicate it very well.
360: Well this was all so awesome! Thank you for your time and the coffee. We look forward to seeing what Methodical comes up with (roasts) next!
For info on Marco, you can visit him at www.marcosuarez.com! Or for even more coffee details from Methodical’s main site here. You can also follow along their roasting adventures via Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.