When you walk in you’ll notice it has a very urban and artsy feel to it. It’s well decorated featuring several pieces of artwork on the walls from various local creatives. In the back they have an old telephone booth that was there when they bought the space a piano and an old fashioned microphone for open mic nights. They offer everything from coffee, to smoothies and a variety of food options. Some of my favorite drinks I’ve had so far are the Matcha Latte, Soule Dirty Dirty Chai and The “flower top” Mocha Frap. I’ve also had their flat bread which is delicious. Check them out on FB and IG to see all that they have to offer.
The Story Behind Soule’
The owner Ezra Brown, who is a famous Jazz Musician (check out his music here) got into the coffee world during his tours around the world. As he traveled he always found himself looking for coffee shops so he could connect to the internet and get online for work or to talk to friends and family and during his time spent there he developed a love for Chai tea which then got him into the coffee world. He also noticed how coffee shops bring all kinds of people together. He said,
“Young, old, artistic types, worker type, blue collar, it brings everybody. So, it’s called the drinking well. And the conversation is always different. It completely neutralizes people to a point where they can then have a regular conversation. Because in a coffee shop area everyone’s there for one thing, coffee. So it changes the whole angle of how a conversation can go so that’s what got me into it.”
When I asked him why he chose Florence, SC he mentioned how he was born in Florence and felt like Florence needed something for people like him. Growing up and being inspired to play Jazz music he noticed that there aren’t a lot of places to play the kind of music he’s now known for and famous for. It made him think of other artists faced with the same problem. They either have to change their dream or move away and he wanted to offer something different. A place where they could come and share their art/music and have a sense of community, a place where they could grow. In his words,
“We always say it takes a community to build a great artist so that’s what we’re trying to do build that community.”
You can really see that in the way he runs his coffee shop and how he encourages other artists he comes across. Open mic night (every wed. & sun.) you can find him at the front supporting and cheering on the performers that come up. He also works to provide workshops and classes for artists looking to grow in their craft and business.
So if you find yourself downtown Florence you should stop by and grab a coffee or chai and check them out! And don’t just stick with the menu. Ezra says they have a secret menu with lots of variations of chai, coffee and matcha drinks. One of which being the dirty matcha…yes please! 🙂