I don’t have a lot of regard for businesses who come into the market riding someone else’s coattails, especially if an industry pioneer had already paved the way to make it easier for others to follow. It takes a lot of unbelievably hard work for someone to create something innovative and unique. When I see a copycat business pop up, I see it as a cheap and lazy attempt rather than giving credit to the “imitation is the best form of flattery” philosophy.
This is why I sigh when I see the next pizzeria, brewery, and burger place open up. And sometimes? Coffeehouses, too. We are heavily saturated with these options and it seems like people think they’ll be great since it’s already a proven niche. They’ll just jump on the bandwagon and make a load of cash, right?! Wrong.
Rarely are the bandwagon jumpers doing anything different than the plethora of other businesses in town. This is why we’ve seen more than one pizzeria close up over the last month or so. Too many people are doing the same thing. When it comes to coffee houses, it’s the same lattes, same super sugary dessert specialty drinks, and in a location just around the corner from another coffeehouse.
I can think of only a handful of coffeehouses that truly do bring something special to Fort Collins. And how can that happen when coffee is just “coffee” to so many Fort Collins coffee drinkers?
It happens first with quality. There’s no chance of rising above average with a mediocre product. Next is location. Some average places are still going strong because they have great, convenient locations, or where they may be the only option in a coffeehouse desert. And finally, there’s atmosphere. In my opinion, this is just as important as quality, and the “special sauce” that makes them unique.
When I think of my favorite coffeehouses, they all offer exceptional quality in both food and beverage. They each have convenient locations around different parts of town – but most importantly – they each have an atmosphere that draws me in and keeps me there for a while.
With their undeniable level of quality, their unique charm, and their location that fills a quality-dedicated void on the Southeast side of town, Bindle is now one of those on my top favorite coffeehouses in Fort Collins.
Bindle started raising eyebrows with a Kickstarter project last December. Their video truly conveyed the essence of those key ingredients – quality, location, and uniqueness – that they’d be bringing to the table. They reached their goal and built the shop in a reconstructed mechanic’s garage on an old homestead site from the 1880’s, opening their doors near the end of August of this year. Owners Andrew Webb and Jenn Webb roast direct-trade beans and bake from-scratch pastries on site, while providing an atmosphere to “sit and savor” in this small and quaint space.
Photo Credits: Bindle Facebook
I’ve been to Bindle a number of times – for our blogger network meetings, to chat with friends getting advice about opening potential ice creameries, to help out with interviews for graduate projects at CSU – and it continues to be my go-to coffee meeting space close to home.
I’ve loved everything about them since I first walked in. It’s an adorable place to be in, the food is exceptionally delicious, and the coffee and tea goes above and beyond expectation.
I’ve had an iced matcha latte that came in a cute glass bottle and tasted rich and fabulous – perfectly whisked to a decadent froth.
I’ve had a vanilla latte with house-made vanilla syrup and paired that with a sweet potato and egg empanada. Naturally, and not overly sweet syrup with a delicate hint of vanilla, and the empanada was savory with a hint of sweetness combined with a tang of cheese, not to mention the flakey crust.
June with Growing Up Fort Collins had a chrysanthemum tea from Colorado Tea Company during one of our meetings together. It’s perfect that they have options for the non-coffee connoisseurs.
Photo Credit: June Macon, Growing Up Fort Collins
There’s a coffee shop right across the street from my neighborhood. In fact, it takes exactly three minutes to get there by car, and not much more if I walk. I hated going there. I hated having meetings there, even though they have a conference room. It’s corporate, suburban, packed wall-to-wall with people trying to have coffee meetings too, and the quality was subpar (on everything). There’s nothing exactly innovative about a coffeehouse as a concept, but Bindle has paved the way for the Southeast side of town to embrace quality and atmosphere. They aren’t jumping on a bandwagon, as this is something you can’t copy. They’ve created something that feels authentic and natural – a place I want to be, and a space to sit and savor.
1933 Jessup Drive
Kid-Friendly? It is, actually! They have non-coffee options for the kids.
Parking Lot: Shared lot with other Jessup Farm businesses
Healthy options: Their menu changes often, and it’s not listed anywhere, but they did have Organic Pink Lady Apple with house-made caramel and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt available one day.
Budget-Friendly? It’s average coffeehouse pricing. $10 for a latte and empanada
Recent Health Inspection: Good