Charlotte Happenings

DEC 2017

Charlotte Happenings is your monthly guide to events and things to do in and around Charlotte, NC.

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Tanner Morita, John Michael Cord and Chandler Wrenn were three broke friends when they founded HEX Coffee in 2015. Personally passionate about coffee and well connected within Charlotte's coffee sector, they started serving brews from a pop-up shop during public and private community events, then grew from there. Earlier this year, they opened a permanent location, HEX Espresso Bar, inside Good Bottle Co. off Remount Road. Serving draft lattes, HEX Shandy (lemon, mint and cold brew) and, of course, house roasts, the up-and-coming shop offers insight into the future of coffee in Charlotte. Here, Wrenn shares how the whole thing came together. How has your business grown since you started? Chandler Wrenn: Our pop-ups were wildly successful, which took us a little bit by surprise, but we decided to try to find a place to plant roots. We wanted to grow into our own shop. Good Bottle opened up the opportunity for us to have a small shop at a reasonable price for three guys who were just doing it all. What's cofee culture like in Charlotte? CW: There's a lot of growth that's happening now. The big thing we want to see is people pushing the envelope not only in Charlotte, but also seeing what we can do on a national scene. We want to see how Charlotte can step it up and grow its influence on coffee across the country. What's on the horizon for HEX? CW: We're opening a production facility for our roastery, so that's been our main focus. We're working on a tasting room experience at Camp North End, and after that, we're just waiting for the right opportunity for us to expand and grow and potentially open another cafe [in Charlotte]. What's your most popular drink order? CW: Right now, the draft vanilla latte is something that we've been super successful with. It's quick and easy for the consumer. My favorite drink that we've put out recently is the Ethiopian drip coffee that we do. That's been very successful. The little pop-up that could Good Neighbors Dilworth Pop into Duck Donuts early for a made-to- order or seasonally inspired round. This addictive eatery also dresses doughnuts as sundaes and breakfast sandwiches. Equally crowded, local favorite Not Just Cofee puts the craft in craft cofee. Baristas here master Instagram- worthy pours, a skill that takes the shop's lattes to the next level. NoDa The handcrafted beauts at Joe's Doughs are fried in small batches to maintain freshness. Flavors rotate weekly, but cinnamon, sprinkles and maple bacon varieties abound. After an early stop at Joe's—"get there early" is the Charlotte doughnut mantra—pick up a brew at Amélie's French Bakery, open 24/7. Inner peace is a French Press served in a personal carafe. PHOTO BY JORDAN BL ACK CHARLOT TESGOTALOT.COM 41

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