WorkinCT: Hartford’s Story and Soil nearing one year in business

HARTFORD -- When Michael and Sarah McCoy were looking to open up a business, the where was a given. They wanted to open up in one of Hartford’s neighborhoods outside of downtown. The what ended up being a specialty coffee shop.

“We didn’t think there was a fantastic coffee shop in town, so we saw it as a whole, as a need in the city,” said Michael McCoy, co-owner of Story and Soil Coffee in Hartford.

Along with Michael Acosta, they opened up Story and Soil Coffee last July, working with local roasters like Neat in Darien and Giv Coffee out of Canton.

McCoy says starting with great coffee is one of the secrets to the shop’s coffee creations, which set it apart from other coffee shops.

“Everything is done with precision, so our batch coffee, our pour overs, our espresso drinks, everything is weighed out,” said McCoy.

Talking to customers, that attention is something they value.

“They pay a lot of attention to the kind of drinks they put on the menu,” said Dan Becce.

“Their coffee’s good. I mean, I’ve been able to come here and try things that I’ve never tried before,” added Roberto Chavez, who appreciates the unique offerings at the café.

“The beans are roasted perfectly. It’s a lighter roast, but it’s a strong brew which I like. The temperature is perfect, and I really like the way they serve it,” said Joe DeMarco.

DeMarco just stumbled upon Story and Soil, but he said it feels like you’re at home in your kitchen. That’s what the owners were going for. They wanted the place to have a welcoming vibe where everyone feels like he or she can come in for good drinks and good conversation. That’s in the name, too, which is a nod to the Bright Eyes album “Lifted...or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground.”

“The idea is that could really speak to what our mission is, which is we want it to be a place that people are sitting and connecting, despite the fact that it’s cozy, congregate and meet, and to our delight that does happen,” said McCoy.