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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

Asheville based cafe and coffee wholesale supplier PennyCup celebrated 10 years of business this February

The main counter of Pennycup Coffee.

In February of 2014, Bill Tanner and Amber Arthur opened up their very first coffee shop in Asheville, N.C., located in West Asheville on Depot St. Since then, the two business partners have opened up three more locations in Asheville.

PennyCup coffee has a total of four locations in Asheville: Depot St, Market St, Beverly Rd and Merrimon Ave. 

With so many other cafe competitors all over Asheville, as well as being in business for a decade, Tanner exclaims that PennyCups dedication to customer service is what makes PennyCup truly special to the community. 

“If you talk to people who are regular at our shops, what sets us apart is the interactions they have with the baristas and they see the in-production here,” said Tanner. 

With Asheville being a popular tourist destination, the PennyCup gets their fair share of tourists visiting, but most of their clientele are the regulars who have been visiting the Asheville based chain for years now.

“It’s kind of tourist-y on the weekends, but pretty much during the week it’s all regular. In the Summer we’ll see more tourists in the week, like Thursdays and Fridays in the afternoon. But we’re a pretty local oriented shop. In fact, all of our shops are, even our downtown shop is pretty local heavy,” said Tanner. 

Although guests can order drinks and pastries at the Depot St location, this location primarily specializes in creating their wholesale production on site and is the only PennyCup location to do so for the past 10 years. 

“We provide wholesale coffee, we provide consultations and equipment and we provide tech services, equipment maintenance and repairs,” said Tanner. 

Stepping inside the PennyCup on Depot St, customers are able to see the in production process happen live, complete with a large industrial roaster and food grade storage bins scattered towards the back of the store, filled with coffee grounds prepped for orders. 

“That’s finished coffee. Roasted coffee that is ready to fill for orders. Those are all different regions of roast profiles. The gray bins have roasted coffee and the white ones in the back are green, so raw coffee,” said Tanner. 

In fact, The PennyCup produces about an average of 400 to 500 pounds of coffee daily. 

For anyone visiting the PennyCup as a first time customer, Tanner recommends trying their signature latte- “The Super Rad Latte” or for a cold drink, a simple cold brew. 

“Our cold brew is awesome, very popular. But the super rad has a little bit of cinnamon and cayenne in it. It’s got a little spice, it’s really good.” said Tanner. “If someone were to come in and do something a little different, that’s what I would recommend. Or a cold brew, straight, you don’t even need anything in it. Maybe a little half and half.”

As for future endeavors, The PennyCup hopes to keep things small and local.

“Truthfully, it’s a small town. We’ve got four locations in this city, we don’t need another PennyCup in Asheville to be honest. But if the right opportunity came up and the right person, you’d move further out, there’s the potential to lose a little quality control there. All of a sudden, it becomes a different kind of business. We’re more focused on growing wholesale than opening more cafes. I think the size we are now, cafe wise, is really good,” said Tanner.

Those interested more in The PennyCup as well as their wholesale endeavors can learn more at their site PENNYCUP COFFEE CO

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