10/12/2015 Article by Rachel Sanders. Posted on Salt Lake Magazine Blog on October 12th.
You might have missed the quiet opening of Salt Lake’s newest member of the specialty coffee scene. But for those of us who have been wishing for a specialty coffee shop in Liberty Heights, the Three Pines Coffee cart has been a revelation and a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Three Pines’ co-owners, Nick Price and Meg Frampton, both met over coffee, when Nick was working for Handsome Coffee in Los Angeles. “Handsome was so special to me,” says Nick. “It really shaped how I feel about coffee.” In addition to working the coffee bar during the week, Nick was in charge of the “Handsome Traveler” coffee cart on weekends. “It was the best of both worlds,” he says.
When Meg and Nick noticed the absence of a mobile coffee business in the Salt Lake specialty coffee community, they seized the opportunity to start their own. Nick channeled his experiences with Handsome when selecting their equipment and calibrating grinds and shots, and built the coffee cart to his specifications (“I’m a tall guy!”). Meg, as a visual artist, developed the Three Pines logo and branding. Meg also runs their social media and marketing activities, including their popular Instagram feed.
“Handsome was so special to me,” says Nick. “It really shaped how I feel about coffee.”
The resulting concept has a cohesiveness and effortlessness that belies extreme care and consideration. The menu is simple and focused, with options for espresso drinks or pour-over coffee. “We’ll probably add some things over time,” says Nick. “But for now, we want the focus to be on really good espresso and great coffee.”
As they’ve expanded their customer base, Meg and Nick have also developed relationships with other local specialty coffee businesses. “Salt Lake is such a small [coffee] community, which I love,” says Nick. “Since we opened this summer, we’ve gotten to know almost everyone, and they’ve all been incredibly supportive of us."
The Three Pines Coffee cart is located on the patio of Liberty Heights Fresh on Wednesday through Monday mornings, where customers can enjoy drinks to stay at the patio tables, or take their coffee to go on the way to school or work. Three Pines is also available for hire, and is a fixture at public events such as farmers markets at the 9th and 9th Street Fair. “We’ll probably always do events,” says Nick, “Even if we open a brick and mortar location, we’ll always have a cart.” Nick and Meg both say expansion is likely in their future. “Salt Lake likes it!” says Nick. “The response has been good. But I will always be tasting the coffees and sourcing the coffees and working on the bar and pulling shots. I just really care about that stuff.” To learn more about Three Pines Coffee, including hours and event packages, visit threepinescoffee.com. Three Pines is open on the Liberty Heights Fresh patio from 8:00am-1:00pm Wednesday through Monday. Rachel Sanders is a Utah transplant who has fallen hard for the local, sustainable food scene. She likes to talk about food, think about food, and make food, both for work and for fun. Find her writing, recipes, and photography atfieldandforestfood.com.