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Coffee shop opening adds to burst of energy on Hartford block

HARTFORD – On a block with lots of new kids, the newest on Capital Avenue is Story and Soil Coffee.

The shop opened its doors at 387 Capitol Avenue for the first time Thursday morning during a soft opening period. A grand opening is being planned for the beginning of August.

Co-owners Sarah and Michael McCoy were looking to invest in Hartford, where they live with their children, and decided Capitol Avenue could use an independent coffee shop.

“I think that we’re doing something well and I think that we’re filling a need,” said Michael McCoy.

However, the two were only coffee drinkers not coffee makers. So they brought in Michael Acosta, the owner and founder of N2 Coffee, and the rest fell into place.

Sarah McCoy said, “we met at Little River for a cocktail and a week later put a deposit down on the place.”

They’re joining Little River Restoratives cocktail bar on Capitol Avenue, along with the new Goldburgers restaurant and the new Capitol Lofts apartment building.

“I knew the momentum that was going on within Hartford particularly within the food industry and the wonderful community that was developing and already existed within Frog Hollow,” said Acosta.

“We’re really aware of the fact that our shop probably wouldn’t, this wouldn’t be where we would be if it wasn’t for Little River down the street and Goldburgers here and Firebox before that really coming into the neighborhood and making a commitment to the neighborhood to develop it, to hire, to be a positive light in the area,” said Sarah McCoy.

They’re serving coffee from Giv Coffee in Canton and Neat Coffee in Darien, serving treats from First and Last Bakery in Hartford, bread from Get Baked bakery in Windsor, and dairy from Sweet Pea in Granby.

Sarah McCoy said, “If we’re gonna say that we want to be a part of the community then we have to go to our community when we need help. So you know our tap handle was a local artisan, our aprons are from Hartford Denim Company, our logo is from Hartford Prints. They city is all over this space, which is really important to us.”

They’re hoping their shop becomes a meeting hub and a space for great conversation. Their name comes from an album by the band Bright Eyes called “Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground.”

“We liked it because we envision a place where people would share their stories and obviously their product is from the soil,” said Sarah McCoy.

She said, “It starts with community. It starts with love for the city and for wanting to create a place for people to share their stories.”