The authenticity of local coffee shops is impeccable. There are standards that Mom and Pop coffee shops rise that large coffee houses such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts cannot live up to. They can be the highlight of a city or town and they’re almost impossible not to adore. Whether you are a coffee lover or not, local coffee shops offer so much more than just a drink to sip on or a pastry to munch on – they provide an atmosphere that is priceless. Here are five perks of local coffee shops.

1. Personal

Local coffee shops have a personal atmosphere, especially between customers and employees. The interactions within a local coffee shop is friendlier and more natural compared to that of a household name shop. Seeing familiar faces and feeling welcomed and wanted in local coffee shops allows for an overall more meaningful experience and will more often than not make customers go back for more. Shown above is a photo inside of Summit, New Jersey's Boxwood Coffee. Owned by a young married couple, this shop offers a very friendly environment with awesome employees. This place has got the best vanilla latte in Jersey -- if you've never visited, I suggest you do!


2. Aesthetically Pleasing

The set up and design of local cafes are usually more thought out and planned than big name cafes. There is a lot of creativity that goes into setting up a local coffee shop because it attracts customers to visit that shop instead of a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. When a local coffee shop not only has awesome tasting coffee but also has a unique environment, people will want to visit there often. Plus, it calls for a great photo op!

Photographed is La Colombe in Washington, DC.


3. Tastier

Prices of drinks and foods at local coffee shops are usually higher than known coffee houses – and there’s a reason for that: the quality of the ingredients that goes into making the menu at these cafes is a lot higher than big name cafes. When the quality is higher, the price is going to be higher, but it’s well worth it. With better quality ingredients,

the taste is almost always guaranteed to be better! Photographed is an iced latte, iced coffee, a sandwich and avocado toast from Slipstream in Washington, DC.

4. Professional and Knowledgeable Employees

The employees at local coffee shops are usually people who are very educated in what they’re doing. Local coffee shops are usually hiring people who have a lot of experience and knowledge on coffee making and the coffee industry. This allows customers to be more confident in their purchases because they know they’re getting their money’s worth. In addition, local coffee shops may be family owned, meaning more than half of the employees are often part of a single family. This is a plus because growing up with the family business will of course mean those individuals know more than enough about the products they’re selling. Photographed is an employee at La Colombe in Washington, DC.

5. Creative

This can mean creative in the set up of the coffee shop or even creative in the menu offerings. Local coffee shops go above and beyond the “norm” of what you think a coffee shop should have. Being creative is key when owning a local coffee shop because being different is what will reel in customers to visit your shop instead of going to a big name café. The best example I can think of is a café in Georgetown, DC called Crumbs and Whiskers. This is the only cat café in DC. It’s a café, offering a number of different drinks and foods, but also an adoption center for cats. Customers can sip on their drink while petting and playing with adorable cats scattered all throughout the café. It’s fun, it’s different, and it’s extremely creative. If you’ve never visited, I strongly suggest you do so! It’s an awesome place with an ever better cause.

Next time your planning your next coffee break, try something a bit different, stray away from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, and support your local coffee shops. You won't regret it!