Howdy y'all!

I'm Melanie and a traveling coffee blogger based in the South. This space is about more than coffee though - it's about the people who serve it, the spaces you drink it and the convos that bloom around it. Won't you join me?

Foundation Coffee Co, Tampa, FL

Foundation Coffee Co, Tampa, FL

1607 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa in early April was perfection. Summer vibes were on the way and the weather was the perfect amount of warm and breezy. On a Wednesday afternoon, I got off work early and went on the hunt for one my favorite things: a plant shop. Y'all. This wasn't just any plant shop. Fancy Free Nursery is THE plant shop. I think it would almost be better classified as a plant boutique. It's got a beautiful interior of white walls and pink ascents and the most luscious indoor/outdoor plants. Plant moms come here to rejoice and awe over beautiful plant babies.

To make this visit even better, I found out while I was checking out that

Foundation Coffee Co was just around the corner.

Talk about a win!


I walked into Foundation at 5:55, five minutes before closing. The barista was putting up shop and I was trying to make a quick coffee decision. My heart led me to a nitro cold brew. It sounded and felt right. The barista welcomed this last minute order before closing time and began talking me through their nitro processes. During that discussion, he not only gave me the lowdown on his own nitro but also spoke about a great nitro at a neighboring coffee shop, Union. While the nitro at Foundation adds nitrogen to their brew after it's been brewed, the cold brew at Union is infused with nitro during the brewing process, leaving an even creamier finish. I was so impressed that the barista wasn't just concerned with shining light on his own shop, but was happy to lift up another. That level of humility is so refreshing and endearing!

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Jason Smith grew an outdoor landscaping business 'Outdoor Expressions' initially in 2002, but when his wife was hankering to get a job, they dreamed up the idea to open a coffee shop together. After some teamwork, they opened their first shop in Oct 15 at their Riverview location. They stayed true to their love for the green, fresh outdoors and superb coffee. Later on, they would open their first brick and mortar location in the Heights area in a 1920s brick building that boasts vast 20' ceilings and beautiful exposed brick. This Heights location is the shop I so happily stumbled upon.


At the outset, Foundation served King State coffee, but down the road, they incorporated roasting into their business portfolio and began to roast their own. Dan is their man. But really... Dan is the Master Roaster who cultivates the foundation of their brew (pun intended). Foundation's goal is "to showcase the farmer’s hard work through our roasting process and through the coffee we serve.” Dan leads the Foundation charge for intentional sourcing. Foundation aims to ensure that their coffee farmers are getting an equitable price for their beans.


The store's design was open and minimalistic. The leather furniture contrasted well with the concrete floors and brick walls. You can sense that there was a clear intention to keep the shop airy and full of natural light. The big windows at the front and garage-like door at the back fill the inside with positive sunny vibes. It almost makes you feel like you're outside. The inside scene consists mostly of plush couches/chairs, a few bar seats, and a couple small tables along the wall. However, the gorgeous pergola-covered patio area out back had much more table style seating (tables perfect for friend dates) and a captivating seating area that's centered under a wooden backboard. It demands everyone who passes by to take a photo!

Jason and Emily's love for the outdoors shines through their intentional design of the Heights location. The outdoor patio is such a happy place to be. Hard not to smile amidst the green and sunshine.

I have nothing but positive things to say about Foundation. The barista was friendly and welcome to conversation, despite my pop-in just a few minutes before closing. My nitro was on point and I was so pleased with the positive things the barista offered about other shops in the area. On their website, Jason and Emily have proclaimed their Faith to be a powerful part of how they run their business and it shows. All are welcome and none are turned away at this captivating location.

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