When I started this blog in September 2014, one of my favorite specialty shops was The Library Coffeehouse in Tampa. They featured heavily in My Coffee History, a short series of posts exploring my journey into specialty coffee, and for a long time it was the place I went to talk shop. One of my very first posts was about my photography show, “Coffee Travels”, which hung on their walls for over two years until early last month when they sold the business.
Now their space is occupied by The Vine Baking Co. but I have yet to check it out. I imagine it might feel strange to be in a place where I spent so many years taking coffee photos, enjoying Dawn’s delicious homemade food while chatting with Marie about espresso prep and the local coffee scene, which has exploded since then. It would be like visiting an old house after someone else moved in; the walls still remember our old life, but everything else has moved on.
So it does feel like the end of an era. I’m happy for Dawn and Marie as they move to a new chapter in their life, and we enjoyed a good chat when I went over to Tampa to pick up my photos. It had been so long since I attempted any serious photography, and so long since I visited their shop since their morning hours often didn’t fit the times I would be in Tampa, so I had almost forgotten some of the photos on display.
Espresso from Japan, an affogato from Korea, a rosetta from Denver and a small heart from New York, plus a paper cup with a logo I created just for the show, as well as a selection of some of my favorite scenes from Japan… it was an interesting split between coffee and travel photos, and now they sit in my office waiting for a new home.
The departure of a cozy shop that played so heavily in my coffee upbringing just reminds me how quickly the retail landscape can change. Several new shops have popped up in Tampa since the day I hung these photos at The Library, and I still haven’t made the rounds to all of them. I really need to get out the camera and spend a day coffee touring like we used to do. Perhaps one day soon…