Where: Downtown Littleton
Pros: Fresh baked treats and delicious coffee in an adorable shop setting… I can’t pick just one.
Cons: This will be a trek for those of you living in Denver. I promise you, it’s worth it.
In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of coffee shops in Denver. Between franchise stores like Starbucks or Caribou Coffee and independent ventures around town, it can be hard to create a shop that is unique and appealing. Owners can have trouble with this, especially when there are so many places for patrons to choose from. But what about taking the competition out of Denver entirely? That’s exactly what Tyler Venter and his parents, Marcel and Tandi, decided to do. They opened Spur Coffee in downtown Littleton last November and since then have established a great group of regulars as well as steady visits from city dwellers looking for something distinctive out of Denver.
Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Marcel and Tandi Venter moved to Denver with their son Tyler around ten years ago and originally set up Spur to be a creative space for their brand agency. As Tyler became more interested in craft coffee, they created Spur as a way to serve their delicious coffee to people looking for a place to relax and work creatively.
“In America, coffee shops have become a very ‘grab and go’ type system,” said Tandi Venter. “We were looking to create a more European style shop, where people can stop and sit for a while and slowly enjoy their coffee and treats with friends or while they work creatively in a community setting.”
Tyler, as a first time coffee shop owner, admits everyone he has had a lot of help from friends around town. As Tyler was learning how to perfect his brewing techniques, he’d call to his friends over at Crema Coffee or Happy Coffee and ask them questions.
“Everyone wants to see each other succeed,” said Tyler. “The guys have all been really helpful. It’s a tight knit group and they are very helpful.”
Spur Coffee is definitely on the road to success. Tyler and his girlfriend, barista Cierra Lorenzen, work behind the bar around 12 hours a day and are dedicated to producing quality coffee. Each of their coffee drinks has a homemade element that makes them unique to Spur. The Spur Mocha is created with homemade chocolate and a pinch of cinnamon. It was insanely delicious and had just enough chocolate so it wasn’t overpowering. They also offer delicious pour overs and espressos from different roasters. When we visited, they were offering Sweet Bloom espressos and pour overs that were extremely tasty.
And please, don’t even get me started on the bakery. Everything that Spur Coffee offers is homemade by Tandi Venter, and they are some of the most delicious treats I have ever had (at a coffee shop or bakery). Inside the counter, there’s an array of beautiful biscotti, shortbreads, and cakes that all have a fresh and homemade taste that just can’t be replicated. It was hard to pick a favorite, but I loved the Coconut Chocolate Yogurt Cake. It was fluffy and flavorful. I also loved the Salted Caramel Shortbread and Chocolate Biscotti, which are both favorites of the regulars at the shop. Apparently there’s an older gentleman who comes into the shop once a week to buy all of the chocolate biscottis that Spur is offering at the time for his wife, because she can’t stop eating them.
That’s what Spur Coffee is about: creating a desire for delicious food and treats in the community. It is clear that the Venters truly love what they do and are willing to put time into their products to make them perfect. The dynamic in the shop is so friendly and family oriented, which is a great chance of pace from some of the stuffy shops downtown. It reminded me of going over to a friend’s house and catching up while their awesome parents cook homemade food. Spur Coffee is truly a one of a kind shop and I have a feeling their group of regulars is going to get a lot bigger.
Photos by Caitlin Savage, Photography Editor at 303 Magazine.