Cup of coffee from local coffee shop Halcyon
In case you haven’t already noticed, Austin is weird and proud. This signature quirkiness comes from the collective citizen effort to keep local businesses relevant. There are a few sights here that you’re bound to see: TOMS, suede fringe jackets in blistering heat, and more coffee shops than even the most expert espresso aficionado can handle alone. Spare time proves scarce for collegiettes everywhere, but thankfully UT students are supplied with an abundance of coffee houses (one of which was recently ranked number one by Complex Magazine) in addition to the green straw oasis located on every corner. I’ve been spending more and more time here recently at local favorite Kick Butt Coffee, and decided to catch up with barista Lisa Oliver to get the ins and outs of being a locally owned and operated coffee shop.
HCT: What is your favorite thing about working at a locally owned and operated coffee shop?
Oliver: The Austinites and meeting new people; there’s always a really great mix of people, and of course the caffeine!
HCT: What does Kick Butt Coffee offer that a mainstream shop may not have?
Oliver: The ninja influence, and everyone here has a really great sense of humor. We offer a variety of entertainment from music, to poetry, to movies. You can even bring your kids here and play the Wii.
HCT: What challenges do you face as a local coffee shop?
Oliver: Well mainly to keep the locals coming back since there are so many other local coffee shops. I’ve found that many people don’t like the corporate feel of other places though. We have a local feel; we even put quotes from our customers on our coffee sleeves, cups, and pastry wrappers.
This place seems to have it all: movie screenings, open mic nights, and two great locations (one isn’t too far from The Drag). Expect to hear outrageous conversations about indie radio podcasts, a playlist that ranges from Marcy Playground to Phoenix, and of course the spirit of Austin.