Walk into the enticing vendor’s room at any Spooky Empire event and, among the diverse offerings of horror-themed collectibles, you’re sure to find a very popular vendor keeping the room alive with FREE cups of their amazing coffee. With exciting flavors like Caramel Scream (caramel cream); Ichabod’s Dame (Pumpkin Spice), Judge Mint Day (chocolate mint), Zombie Dirt (espresso blend) and Graveyard Shift (mocha java), Coffee Shop of Horrors (CSoH) has cornered the dark depths of horror themed java. Almost as alluring as their high-quality coffee beans (available whole or ground) is the dark themed artwork adorning the individual bags of coffee.
It is not uncommon for popular flavors to sell out at conventions (and fans are encouraged to purchase early). For aficionados of the brewed bean who cannot make it to either of the two shows that Spooky Empire produces each year, CSoH flavors can be found on their website or at their new retail location.
OTM, after a few cups of the amazing magical elixir of the day, had the opportunity to talk coffee shop with owner Roxanna about the entity known as Coffee Shop of Horrors.
How did CSoH come about?
Coffee Shop of Horrors was originally based in Gainesvilles, GA – the concept was thought of an executed by a friend we had made through the conventions we attended. When he decided to shut it down in 2007 we (Nick and I) offered to take over since the concept was too cool to let die. When we took over CSoH our first task was to find a new coffee roaster to provide the highest quality we could find. After a month of trying coffees from almost 30 different roasters (and recovering from the caffeine shakes) we went with a small mom and pop roastery based in Wilmington, NC. They share our vision of providing the highest quality coffees from fair trade plantations using organic growing and roasting practices.
In addition to our fantastic coffees, we also have organic, hand-blended, loose leaf teas, chocolate covered espresso beans, and coffee soaps (made with our coffees). At Spooky Empire Retro we also debuted the first three flavors of our new line of hot cocoa mixes!
What makes CSoH different from other boutique coffee brands?
Besides offering excellent products in a very wide variety, our most distinctive characteristic is that we’ve never met a stanger. No customer is just an order number or financial transaction. Most of our regular customers have evolved into good friends, and even if we don’t remember your name we know your face.
What is the most unique flavor?
We feel our most unique flavor is the Dark Passenger – Dark Chocolate Orange. It’s not a flavor we’ve seen in coffee before, and we were pleasantly surprised with how well it works as a coffee.
What is the most popular flavor?
Our most popular flavor is our The Quickening – Highlander Grogg. We didn’t really think the combination of whiskey, butterscotch and vanilla could fail. However, we were surprised at how popular it became. At the coffee tasting we hosted at Gods & Monsters to pick our new Fall 2015 flavor lineup a few of our fans almost started a riot when the Highlander Grogg ran out!
We’ve noticed popular convention icons have flavors named after them – how does one ‘become’ a CSoH flavor?
You ask! We rarely turn anyone down as long as you bring your own artwork and don’t ask us to do strawberry banana flavored coffee. But be warned – if you’re not ready to become family with us you probably don’t want to work with us.
Please tell us about the new store
Coffee Shop of Horrors is based in Montverde, FL – a town so small you’d miss if it you blink. We moved there in 2011 and immediately fell in love with it and Clermont. (Everyone out here is ridiculously friendly!) We’d been running CSoH out of a dedicated room in our house for the past 8 years, and had been looking for an affordable location to open up at least a retail location. At the end of 2015 the old post office in our tiny town came up for rent, so we pounced at the opportunity. At the time our friend Matt Allen of Freakshow Designs was also looking for a work location, and we were able to incorporate both our businesses into one location. When you walk in you enter a fairly comfortable coffee shop with a self service counter (like we do at conventions). We invite people to come in.
How does someone get CSoH to be at their event?
You can request our presence at an event by calling us or filling out the contact form on our website. We’re happy to provide fresh brewed coffee and the necessary condiments for companies, weddings, and other events. However, we do ask that the venue have facilities for filling and cleaning our coffee urns, and that permission to use these facilities is approved before we can commit to the event. If we’re being requested to appear at a convention there are a few additional caveats. In order to run successfully we need two 20amp electricity drops in our booth on top of permission to utilize water and cleaning facilities. And we usually can’t do shows at convention centers due to existing concession contracts at those venues, so having us there would need to be cleared with the convention center first.
What’s next for CSoH?
We have some fun and exciting events planned for the rest of this year – including Spooky Empire October 7-9 where we will be debuting another couple of new coffees and expanding our line of hot cocoas. Coffee Shop of Horrors is also planning on expanding into a full service shop in early 2017. There’s more, but you’re going to have to stay tuned for news!
Coffee Shop of Horrors is a MUST dig for ANY coffee/tea/cocoa horror fan. Visit them at the next Spooky Empire event in October, online or at their retail store (16937 Lakeside Dr, Montverde, FL 34756)
Coffee Shop of Horrors is a staple and MUST STOP at any Spooky Empire event. Stay tuned to OTM for more Spooky Empire RETRO Coverage . . .